CHINESE PHONE MAKER Huawei has said it'll release its first 5G-enabled smartphone next year.
Huawei made the announcement at its global analyst summit in Shenzhen, China, confirming that its first 5G phone will debut in the third quarter of 2019.
Given the timing of the launch, it's likely that the Huawei Mate 30 will be the company's first 5G-enabled device, assuming we see the debut of the Mate 20 this autumn.
While Huawei didn't reveal any details about the upcoming smartphone, it did say that it will use its own 5G modem inside the device.
The company launched its first 5G modem, the Balong 5G01, at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February which Huawei claims will offer download speeds (theoretically, at least) of 2.3Gbps. However, this will unlikely make its way into the firm's first 5G smartphone, with the chip instead designed for mobile hotspots and self-driving cars.
Huawei's announcement comes just a day after Counterpoint published its global 5G smartphone forecast, which anticipates that shipments of 5G devices will exceed 100 million units by 2021.
However, the analyst outfit expects early demand to be slow, due to unconfirmed standards and premium pricing.
Counterpoint research director Tom Kang said: "Growth in the early commercial phase of 5G is expected to be low due to several factors. There are still forward-looking 5G standards that are unconfirmed, creating uncertainty around product and service opportunities
"We also expect 5G chips to have a higher price point which will initially drive the cost of devices up. 5G capable devices will be premium only in the beginning. Also, only a handful of countries will be deploying the first 5G infrastructure." µ
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