Huawei has kicked off the 2018 edition of its global analyst summit in Shenzhen, with the Chinese manufacturer detailing plans for the next year. With 5G set to gain momentum next year, Huawei has announced that its first 5G-enabled smartphone will be making its debut in the latter half of 2019.
Given the timing of the launch, it's not unlikely to expect that Huawei's first 5G phone will be the Mate 30 (provided this year's model is dubbed the Mate 20).
First @Huawei 5G smartphone with its own 5G chipset coming in 2H 2019. Which mostly points to the Mate series.#HAS2018 pic.twitter.com/8k5qThGEmpBig news:
First @Huawei 5G smartphone with its own 5G chipset coming in 2H 2019. Which mostly points to the Mate series.#HAS2018 pic.twitter.com/8k5qThGEmp— Neil Shah (@neiltwitz) April 17, 2018April 17, 2018
Huawei further clarified that the device would be debuting sometime in Q3 2019, which lines up perfectly with previous Mate launches.
Now @Huawei is saying Q3 2019 for #5G handsets during Q&A which sounds more inline with expectations. #HAS2018Now @Huawei is saying Q3 2019 for #5G handsets during Q&A which sounds more inline with expectations. #HAS2018— Anshel Sag (@anshelsag) April 17, 2018April 17, 2018
What's notable about Huawei's upcoming 5G phone is that it will use the company's own 5G modem. Huawei unveiled its first 5G modem — the Balong 5G01 chip — back at Mobile World Congress, stating that it will be able to deliver a bandwidth of 2.3Gbps. The size of the Balong chipset suggests it will end up in mobile hotspots and self-driving cars rather than phones, but Huawei is also working on a 5G modem tailored for phones.
Huawei is essentially looking to be an end-to-end services provider for 5G, delivering network equipment to service providers while making 5G-ready hardware available to consumers. Huawei has faced a setback in the U.S. in recent months, but it doesn't look like the move will affect the company in the long run.
Looking ahead, Huawei is predicting that there will be 1.1 billion 5G connections by 2025, along with 200 million 5G-connected cars. That's an ambitious target, and it'll be interesting to see what Huawei brings to the table with its first 5G-enabled phone.
Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.
Mate 30 getting more coverage than the P20.
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