Prospects of affordable 5G smartphones get another boost with MediaTek’s latest chipset

MediaTek
  • The Dimensity 800 is a mid-range chipset that comes with 5G support.
  • The first smartphones with this chipset could launch in the first half of 2020.
  • Qualcomm, the market leader, already has two mid-range chipsets that support 5G.
Taiwanese chipset maker MediaTek has paved the way for cheaper 5G phones. At CES 2020 trade show, they announced a new mid-range chipset with built-in 5G.

Qualcomm’s plans to bring out two such chipsets - will encourage budget smartphone makers to enter the category.

MediaTek announced its Dimensity line-up back in November 2019, starting with the Dimensity 1000. The Dimensity 800 which is now launched is a more affordable sibling. It suggests that MediaTek has been able to bring down the cost of making these modern chipsets.

“MediaTek has already launched its flagship 5G smartphone solution, the Dimensity 1000, and with the 800 series 5G chipset family, we are bringing 5G to the mid-tier and mass market,” TL Lee, Head of MediaTek’s wireless business unit, said in a statement.

The Dimensity 800, much like the Snapdragon 765 and 765G, comes with a built-in 5G modem. This means smartphone makers will not have to pay anything extra for a 5G modem if they decide to use the chipsets. This reduces the cost of manufacturing and will allow them to pass on these savings to customers.

MediaTek expects the first smartphones with Dimensity 800 to launch in the second half of 2020.

2020 could be the year of 5G

This is good news for the many smartphone makers who have already labelled 2020 as ‘the year of 5G’.

Xiaomi, one of the leading smartphone makers in the world, has plans to launch ten new 5G phones this year. Other top smartphone makers like Samsung, Huawei and OnePlus already launched 5G phones.

With Qualcomm also offering two chipsets with 5G support in the mid-range, the average price of 5G smartphones should come down drastically this year. Smartphone makers could hit the jackpot if the average price of 5G phones comes down to $400 - $600 (₹28,000 - ₹42,000). Right now, they can cost anywhere between $800 - $1,400 (₹57,000 - ₹1,00,000 approx.)

Indian consumers might finally be able to test these phones too. The Indian government finally set a deadline for telecom operators to submit their bids for 5G trials. The tests are expected to be completed in six months once the trials officially begin.

In a very optimistic scenario, we could see Indian telecom operators offer 5G services sometime later this year.

See also:

Here's why 5G phones are likely to get cheaper in 2020

Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone have 10 days to submit their bids for 5G trials while a lot remains undecided

10 reasons why 2020 will be the Year of 5G
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