A Lenovo executive said the company will be the first smartphone maker to launch a 5G device, powered by an as yet unannounced Qualcomm processor.

According to a widely reported Weibo post by Chang Cheng, a VP for the firm, such a device will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor. Based on Qualcomm’s usual launch timeframe, this will be unveiled early in December 2018.

This would also fit with the expected launch timeframe for the first tranche of 5G smartphones, although Lenovo will face tough competition to secure the gold medal.

The source of the stories, Chang Cheng, also has a track record of using Weibo to tout Lenovo firsts. Earlier this year he touted an edge-to-edge screen smartphone with thin bezels, called Z5, although this device was a little less impressive when it actually reached the market.

Early 5G deployments will use devices other than smartphones – such as in-home or mobile hotspots – to deliver connectivity to early adapters, although operators are obviously keen to get their hands on smartphones sooner, rather than later.

5G is also seen as a key driver for the smartphone market, which has suffered recently due to a lack of innovation. And Qualcomm is pressing ahead with its 5G announcements, the latest being antenna tech for both sub-6GHz and mmWave frequencies.