Qualcomm processor opens door for cheaper LTE smartphones

Growing volumes and new components are helping push down the cost

Qualcomm has announced a new processor and modem combination that will open the door for cheaper LTE smartphones.

The chip maker has expanded its Snapdragon 400 family with the introduction of a quad-core processor with multimode 3G and LTE integrated. The processor will be used to power "high-volume smartphones in emerging regions," Qualcomm said at the Computex trade show in Taipei.

Today, users still have to pay a high price to get an LTE smartphone or tablet, but prices are coming down thanks to growing volumes and products like the Snapdragon 400, according to Neil Mawston , executive director at market research company Strategy Analytics.

Qualcomm didn't say what it expects phones powered by the new processor will cost. But it will compete with Nvidia's quad-core Tegra 4i processor, which also has an integrated LTE modem and will be targeted at smartphones with a price tag under US$200, Nvidia said earlier this year.

Mawston expects that wholesale prices for the cheapest LTE smartphones will have dropped to below US$200 by the fourth quarter, and the first products will most likely come from Chinese and Korean vendors.

Besides LTE, the new Snapdragon 400 processor also supports the use of two SIM cards and a feature called QuickCharge, which helps shorten the time it takes to charge a phone, according to Qualcomm.

To help inspire device vendors, Qualcomm will release a reference design based on the Snapdragon 400 processor with integrated multimode 3G and 4G LTE. The processor will start shipping at the end of the year, according to Qualcomm.

Overall LTE smartphone shipments will grow from 90.9 million units in 2012 to 275 million in 2013, according to Strategy Analytics. That growth will be helped by an increasing number of commercial LTE networks. At the beginning of of May there were 175 LTE networks, and that number is expected to grow to 248 by the end of the year, according to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA).

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags computexAndroid OS4gtelecommunicationconsumer electronicssmartphonesAndroidqualcomm

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?