Qualcomm 3G/4G chip to enable sub-$100 smartphones

Qualcomm 3G/4G chip to enable sub-$100 smartphones

10 SEP 2014

Qualcomm today announced the release of a multimode 3G/4G processor aimed at the rapidly expanding entry-level smartphone segment.

Qualcomm EVP and co-president Cristiano Amon said he expects the new processor, the Snapdragon 210, to enable OEMs to offer sub-$100 smartphones and claims it’s the first multimode LTE processor available in the low-end price tier.

The 210 supports seven LTE modes as well as carrier aggregation and LTE broadcast. It also has dual-SIM support and full-HD playback with hardware HEVC. Handsets with the 210 processor are expected to be available in the first half of next year.

He said the release extends the company’s Snapdragon range to all price tiers in the smartphone market.

Amon, speaking at the company’s 3G/LTE summit in Hong Kong, said Qualcomm sees a huge opportunity as the price point for LTE devices falls. “It’s a matter of getting LTE devices in the hands of more people at affordable prices.”

He said 4G has completely rebooted the mobile landscape as 4G customers are using three, four or five times more data than they did on 3G devices.

“And the mobile revolution is really just starting. Once networks reach a certain speed, people become more dependent on their devices. So when everyone has a smartphone and LTE connectivity, that’s when the revolution begins.”

Smartphone penetration in emerging regions was just 17 per cent last year, yet 46 per cent of smartphone shipments went to growth economies in 2013 and by 2018 80 per cent will go to these markets, he said.

The number of 3G/4G connections is four times higher than fixed internet connections in growth economies.

Amon noted that China now has 42 million 4G users, and that number is forecast to hit one billion by 2017.

With the growth coming from emerging markets, he said the low-cost Snapdragon chip will allow its partners to capture this opportunity.

In addition to the 210 processor, the company also unveiled its first LTE-equipped tablet reference design, which will allow OEMs and OEMs to offer a new class of multimode LTE tablets.


Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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