Verizon and Samsung, the two companies announced their plans Monday (Dec. 3) to coincide with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Technology Summit, where we expect to learn about Qualcomm’s next-gen smartphone processor. That chip, which will include the Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem and antennas, will power the next wave of flagship Android phones.
Samsung and Verizon will be attending Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Technology Summit in Hawaii this week and will have a proof-of-concept phone using Qualcomm’s X50 5G modem on hand. Separately, Samsung is developing its own 5G modem, the Exynos 5100, which will presumably be used for international 5G variants of the Galaxy S10 based around Exynos processors. Samsung recently announced the Exynos 9820 system-on-chip that will almost certainly power those devices.
This will be Samsung’s second major 5G showcase in under a week. South Korean carriers SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus all launched their 5G networks over the weekend, with SKT CEO Park Jung-ho using a prototype Samsung phone to make video calls around the country. “I feel deeply moved by this first video call on a 5G smartphone,” Park said, in comments reported by The Korea Herald. “It was much clearer than on LTE and the response was quick.” The carrier’s 5G network presently covers 13 South Korean cities and counties; Verizon’s is set to go live in early 2019.
We don’t know yet what Samsung’s 5G phone will look like or what other features it might have at launch, but Samsung and Verizon will show off a proof of concept device at Qualcomm’s event this week. An earlier report said that Samsung is working on a 5G version of the Galaxy S10, but that doesn’t mean this device is it.
LG and Sprint announced in August their plans to release the first 5G smartphone. Verizon and Samsung could beat them to the punch.
Meanwhile, Apple is reportedly waiting until 2020 to release a 5G-compatible phone, when every carrier’s 5G network will be fully operational nationwide and most of the kinks have been worked out.