Qualcomm 5GSource: Qualcomm

What you need to know

  • Qualcomm has alluded to a fall 'flagship device' that will adopt 5G.
  • The insight was given in an investor call on Wednesday, November 6.
  • Speculation suggests that this could confirm Apple is planning to adopt 5G in 2020.

Qualcomm has alluded to "a set of flagship devices" that will adopt 5G in fall 2020. The hint was made by Qualcomm's Chief financial Officer Akash Palkhiwala on an investor call Wednesday, November 6.

According to Reuters:

Qualcomm Inc said on Wednesday it expected 200 million 5G smartphones to be sold in 2020, including flagship devices launching next fall, a reference Wall Street took as a hint that Apple Inc would offer the faster technology next year.

Palkhiwala actually referenced "two inflection points" for 5G next year. The first of these would come in the spring of 2020 when Samsung and some Chinese handset makers introduce new phones. According to the report:

"The second inflection point will be in the fall time frame, when another set of flagship devices will adopt 5G."

Apple has launched a new phone every fall for several years now, and many expect that 2020 is the year that Apple will join the 5G party. Analyst Dan Ives has previously predicted that Apple is planning to launch four new iPhone models next year, all of which will be 5G compatible. Other rumored features include a rear 3D-sensing camera and 'motion control.'

Qualcomm clearly expects 5G to be an absolute bonanza, predicting that 200 million 5G phones will be sold in 2020. Whilst rumors have been circulating regarding Apple and a 5G iPhone, this hint from Qualcomm is possibly the closest-to-source information we've seen. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously suggested that Apple's next iteration of iPhone would include Qualcomm's latest 5G modem, the X55.

5G would be a huge upgrade for iPhone, and if Qualcomm's other report regarding 5G adoption from Samsung and other Chinese manufacturers is also true, it seems unlikely that Apple would let its main smartphone rivals get such a big jump on its own handset. A 5G iPhone in 2020 now seems more likely than ever.