Qualcomm says 5G rollout will be faster than 4G, projects 175 million to 225 million 5G handsets in 2020

Qualcomm also outlined how it will target adjacent market as 5G expands globally. IoT, compute, edge computing and cloud are key markets to Qualcomm.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Qualcomm is projecting 175 million to 225 million 5G smartphones in 2020 with more than 450 million in 2021.

The company, which outlined the projections at an analyst day Tuesday, estimated that 5G adoption will be faster than 4G due to commercialization in China and chipsets that work across multiple tiers.

Qualcomm has a lot riding on 5G since it will make more money off the processors in smartphones, adjacent categories such as the Internet of things and artificial intelligence. Qualcomm is expected to have an integrated 5G modem in 2020.

SEE: 5G: What it means for IoT (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature) | Download the free PDF version (TechRepublic)

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Here's a look at Qualcomm's 5G adoption curve.


This adoption curve for 5G is also expected to drive revenue growth for Qualcomm. In a slide illustrating the serviceable addressable market opportunity, or SAM, Qualcomm highlighted how it expects to grow compute revenue via Android tablets, Chromebooks and Windows devices, automotive wins and IoT.

Qualcomm's adjacent markets with 5G look like this:


And the IoT space is expected to be a big driver for Qualcomm's platform and addressable market.

Edge and cloud computing are also expected to be long-term growth markets for Qualcomm in calendar 2024. To that end, Qualcomm said it is investing $200 million annually to target long-term markets.


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  • In the end, Qualcomm's growth strategy is to have more content and products within devices across multiple industries. It's a Qualcomm everywhere approach that revolves around more revenue per device, growing adjacent markets and becoming a player in AI, cloud and compute.  


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