Qualcomm Claims 5G Leadership in New Phones Coming This Year

(Bloomberg) -- Qualcomm Inc., the largest maker of chips for smartphones, said it’s leading the charge to be the main supplier of technology for 5G phones coming this year and announced new products aimed at winning more orders in the automotive market.

The company’s chips will be in 30 devices with 5G connections coming to the market later in 2019, Qualcomm said Monday at the annual CES show in Las Vegas. It also announced three new chips for cars aimed at bringing digital dashboard technology to mass-market models.

Qualcomm’s technology dominated the mobile industry during the last two generational advancements, giving it market share leadership and huge profits. Almost a decade after the debut of 4G services, with overall consumer interest in smartphones slowing and a worldwide legal fight with Apple Inc., which is no longer a customer, the San Diego-based chipmaker’s earnings have suffered.

Leading the rush to get the new 5G phones in the hands of consumers this year will help Qualcomm profit from the widespread adoption of the technology in 2020, President Christiano Amon said. The new services use wider sets of airwaves that are more efficient at carrying data traffic, he said. That means the phone service providers will have an incentive to get their subscribers to upgrade and will devote marketing and subsidies to make sure that happens. That impetus will benefit companies that have already done the work to get their technology ready.

Qualcomm also said it will begin selling three new versions of its Snapdragon product designed to power driver displays in cars. The idea is to let automakers vary capabilities for different car models while using the same software and other tools. This will help spread the use of advanced instrument clusters to cheaper vehicles, according to Amon.

In another attempt to boost its automotive offerings, Qualcomm demonstrated technology that can deliver Amazon.com Inc.’s Alexa voice-activated assistant and other Amazon services in cars.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.