Qualcomm announced $2 billion deals with Chinese manufacturers Lenovo, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi while also unveiling a ‘5G Pioneer Initiative’ that aims to see commercial 5G devices launched next year.
First up, the chipset giant said the four smartphone players have each signed a Memorandum of Understanding to purchase a total of at least $2 billion worth of components over the next three years.
In a statement, Qualcomm said the four Chinese vendors had expressed an interest in purchasing RF Front End components, which are “designed to enable OEMs to rapidly build mobile devices at scale for easy global expansion”. Any obligation to purchase and supply the components is still subject to striking definitive agreements, added Qualcomm.
Qualcomm also said the components in question can help with connecting to future 5G networks.
The move follows a bigger $12 billion deal with Oppo, Xiaomi and Vivo announced last November.
Qualcomm also announced the launch of a “5G Pioneer” initiative, which brings together Chinese handset vendors Lenovo, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, ZTE and Wingtech. The overall aim of the partnership is to combine forces and bring 5G-ready devices to market next year.
Making the announcement at its 2018 Qualcomm China Tech Day in Beijing, the company said the initiative will aim to “provide Chinese manufacturers with the platform they need to develop premium tier and global 5G commercial devices”.
“5G will bring massive new opportunities to the mobile industry, and we are excited to work with these manufacturers on this 5G Pioneer Initiative,” added Amon.
Qualcomm appears to be cosying up to Chinese companies after running into some trouble in the west.
Yesterday, the company was hit with a $1.2 billion fine by the European Commission for making payments to Apple over a five year period for the iPhone maker to exclusively use its chips in products. Qualcomm is also embroiled in an ongoing legal spat with Apple over royalty payments and licence terms.