Qualcomm has announced its very first 5G system-on-a-chip that does not belong to the flagship category of products. This new arrival, unveiled earlier today in the company’s hometown of San Diego, California, promises to pair the next generation of wireless connectivity with some rather value-focused hardware, one that is ripe for mass production and benefitting from the principles of the economies of scale.
It hasn’t been long since Qualcomm introduced its first 5G chip, which happened just last year. Though the company has been making 5G modems for much longer – since late 2016, to be exact. But actually implementing those into SoCs fit for consumer goods is another matter, entirely. Which is why not everyone expected Qualcomm would be so quick to follow up on its flagship 5G chip offering with a mid-range alternative.
After all, it is not like there is much competition in the segment at the moment and the company invested countless sums into 5G R&D. Which is why it would not have been strange to see Qualcomm trying to maximize profits for the time being. But today’s announcement of the Snapdragon 690 signals a different strategy, one that wants to get everyone hooked up to 5G networks as quickly as possible, no matter how much they are willing to spend on their next smartphone.