25 December 2018
Samsung, Verizon and AT&T have been talking about 5G's blazing speeds and instant connection, and reports have been surfacing about the launch of 5G devices from all leading smartphone makers over the next couple of months.
The upcoming 5G services and phones have been a hot topic at the Qualcomm annual tech summit, held in Hawaii where Samsung is expected to launch its 5G smartphone in the first half of 2019. The new wireless technology is expected to change the way people use smartphones as 5G services become more readily available.
Carriers are spending billions of dollars to build 5G networks, as well as trying to make their existing 4G networks faster. Smartphone makers and carriers are expected to recoup costs when these 5G phones and service plans finally go on sale next year. The upcoming 5G phones and services will reportedly be available at a premium price.
Neither Samsung, Qualcomm, Verizon or AT&T have clearly confirmed what the 5G devices and services will cost as of now.
"I don't think you can think about it as we think about pricing today," said Kevin Petersen, AT&Ts SVP of wireless product marketing. "That paradigm has to shift."
Samsung's SVP of mobile, Justin Denison also side-lined the question of a more expensive Samsung 5G phone. "If you generate enough value [in the phone], then consumers will be ready to pay," he said, which hints that the 5G phone will cost a pretty hefty price.
However, the prices for 5G phones and plans may not remain high forever. "The cost increase is not different than the increase in cost that we saw from 3G to 4G, with the benefit that as the technology matures, you can go down on phone storage," said Qualcomm's president, Cristiano Amon.
"The technology, like everything in electronics, will get cheaper with scale," Amon said. "And you have to start somewhere."