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Smartphone exec says 5G phones will be available for well under $250 by Q4

At least one smartphone executive thinks we could see budget 5G devices by the end of the year.

Published onMarch 19, 2020

vivo nex 3 5g 16

5G phones have been on the market for just over a year now, but we still haven’t seen a ton of mid-range devices with the new connectivity standard.

Now, Vivo vice-president Liu Hong has told ITHome (h/t: GSMArena) that 5G phones will be much cheaper later this year. In fact, Hong predicted that 5G phone prices will drop to roughly 1,500 yuan (~$212) by Q4 2020.

That’s a more aggressive prediction than we saw from companies we interviewed earlier this year. MediaTek and Qualcomm representatives told us that they saw $250 to $300 as the low point for 5G phone prices in 2020.

How low will 5G phone prices go in 2020?
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G 5G logo

The ~$285 Redmi K30 5G is arguably the cheapest 5G phone right now, so it isn’t hard to imagine that prices will be even lower than that.

Chipsets are another factor too, as the Snapdragon 765 series is the only mid-range 5G silicon from Qualcomm right now. But the US giant has previously confirmed plans to bring 5G to its budget-focused Snapdragon 600 series, with devices set to arrive in the second half of 2020. And silicon in this series is usually found in sub-$300 devices.

It looks like price will no longer be a major obstacle when it comes to 5G phones by the end of the year. That just leaves 5G networks as the big hurdle, as the likes of India, South Africa, and other markets still haven’t rolled out mobile 5G networks.

How low do you think 5G phone prices will go by the end of the year? Give us your answer below.

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