Qualcomm wins 75 5G design contracts, cementing leadership

Qualcomm has revealed that it has won over 75 5G design contracts — more than double the number it announced last January, driven by OEM designs for its first and second generation 5G modems.
Qualcomm 5G chipset
Mobile operators announced their limited 5G coverage – on sub-6 bands as well as millimeter wave spectrum — in the U.S. and South Korea and Europe. China, the largest mobile phone market, will also launch 5G soon.

Over 20 mobile operators and over 30 devices are expected to launch 5G this year using Qualcomm 5G solutions.

China Unicom, the second largest mobile operator in China, revealed plans to start 5G trials in the country.

The launch of 5G trials by China Unicom will push demand for 5G smartphones from Nubia, OnePlus, OPPO, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE that use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem with integrated RF transceiver and RF Front-End solution.

China Unicom is using 5G non-standalone (NSA) mode of operation, which allows 5G New Radio (5G NR) deployments to leverage existing LTE core network and base stations, while adding new 5G base stations.

“The arrival of 5G in China is particularly exciting as it brings 5G to the largest mobile user base in the world. To-date, the vast majority of the announced 5G devices for China include Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipsets,” Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said.

Qualcomm will also generate more design wins when 5G moves to industrial segments such as IoT and Cellular-V2X and PCs.

Qualcomm in February announced its second generation 5G modem, the Snapdragon X55, its second generation 5G RF front-end solutions, and a mobile platform with integrated 5G – aiming for more business in late 2019 and early 2020.

Qualcomm is lowering its estimates for 2019 by another 50 million units to 1.85 billion units due to weakness in China and a lengthening of handset replacement cycle, reflecting a pause in advance of 5G rollouts. Industry analysts say global handset units will decline slightly.

“With the global launch of 5G starting in the second half of calendar 2019, we expect to see an increase in both device and chipset selling prices,” Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon said.

Qualcomm will book an additional revenue of $4.5 billion to $4.7 billion in the third fiscal quarter as a result of the settlement with Apple.

In addition, Qualcomm aims significant revenue and increase in margin from its new deal with Apple for both licensing and chipset businesses.

“We are also seeing increased design win for RF front-end products across all OEMs, driven by the upcoming launches of sub-6 and millimeter wave 5G devices,” Qualcomm said in a statement.