Android smartphone brands, such as Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo, and One Plus, all have a chance to launch 5G smartphones in 2019, but according to Trendforce production volume of 5G models would only be 5 million units this year, a penetration rate of 0.4%, since the construction of 5G related infrastructure has not been fully completed.
As the demand for higher bandwidth and faster connection grows, branded smartphone makers have actively invested in the development of 5G devices to take initiatives in the market, although 5G base stations for commercial communication has not been widespread.
Android brands have been the early adopters, marking 2019 as the first year for 5G smartphones.
In terms of the specs upgrade in 5G smartphones, there are two major improvements:
- The application
must be paired with processor modem. 5G
- There will be extra peripheral components including Wi-Fi module and PA module in order to enhance the phone reception and performance of the signal filter.
The addition of these components will not only make the phones larger and thicker but also increase the components costs sharply. For example, according to TrendForce’s calculation, the BOM costs of flagship 5G smartphones would increase by 20% to 30%.
When it comes to mobile phone antennas, beamforming technology is applied to improve the communication quality, because 5G systems operate in millimeter wave frequency band, and the attenuation of high-frequency communication may influence the quality. Currently, the biggest challenge is the thermal dissipation in the RF front-end. The components will generate heat and consume the power of phones when working in high-frequency circuits. Therefore, a key focus in the design of RF front-end will be how to solve the heat dissipation problem through choosing the right materials for phone cases, and to maintain good performance in a
According to TrendForce, a widespread 5G architecture is necessary to make 5G smartphones more popular. Telecom service providers need to deploy 5G network faster and complete the tests of relevant end services. It is estimated that the 5G infrastructure will not be completed until 2022. Moreover, the research and development (R&D) expenses of 5G smartphones remain high, high power consumption may also influence the standby time of phones, and there are also problems related to pricing strategies, etc. All these challenges need to be tested by the market and require a mature 5G ecosystem. TrendForce estimates that the global production volume of 5G smartphones would be 5 million units in 2019.
Read more: TrendForce