INTERNATIONAL – Qualcomm on Monday announced 5G networking chips for a range of applications beyond smartphones, aiming to bolster a business that has lost Apple as a major customer and faces unprecedented levels of competition.
San Diego-based Qualcomm is the world’s biggest supplier of mobile phone chips and has told investors it expects a big boost from 5G networks, which will start rolling out this year and feature higher speeds than current 4G networks. Qualcomm chips will supply the 5G connectivity in devices such as Samsung Electronics’s Galaxy Fold smartphone.
But Qualcomm faces challenges in its mobile chip business, with Apple selecting Intel alone to connect its iPhones released last year to mobile data networks. And MediaTek, Samsung and Huawei Technologies have all announced plans to make 5G chips, with Samsung and Huawei both planning to use the chips in some models of their own phones, eating into potential business for Qualcomm.
At the Mobile World Congress event in Spain on Monday, Qualcomm announced its plans to get its 5G chips into other markets beyond phones. Qualcomm said it working with Japanese e-commerce retailer Rakuten’s mobile division to supply 5G chips for networking gear the retailer is rolling out in Japan.
Qualcomm also has a new chip for personal computers that would connect them to 5G networks, building on Qualcomm’s earlier efforts to attack rival Intel in its core market of central processors.