Qualcomm is expanding its 5G portfolio to its budget Snapdragon 4-series chipsets in 2021, which will bring the faster networking standard to the cheapest range of smartphones yet.

Qualcomm is ramping up its effort to put 5G mobile phones within reach of billions of people and backing new connected laptops aimed at the growing number of people working at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The US chipmaker on Thursday unveiled a 5G-ready version of its Snapdragon 4 chips that will run on cheaper phones, priced at US $125 to $250, that will hit markets in the first quarter of next year.

“It will deliver on the promise of making 5G accessible to all smartphone users,” Qualcomm’s president, Cristiano Amon, said in an opening video address to the IFA consumer technology fair in Berlin.


The three-day event, which attracted 240 000 visitors last year, is closed to the public this year due to the pandemic. Instead, it is being held as a “hybrid” event featuring a mix of online and in-person events for the trade and media.

Amon also announced a 5G platform to support “always on, always connected” laptops that are increasingly in demand among people working at home who need fast, secure connections to log into company networks or join video conference calls.

“We may be closer to escape velocity because of what happened,” he said in an interview, predicting the growth in connected PCs would outlast the pandemic as consumers demand features to match those on the best smartphones.

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