HMD Global, the company behind the recent relaunch of the Nokia brand and commonly known as the new home of Nokia phones, states that it is working to bring a more affordable 5G handset to the market. While speaking to Digital Trends, chief product officer at HMD Juho Sarvikas implied that the current first wave of 5G phones is far too expensive for most people.
According to the media outlet, HMD has set a 2020 release date for its first 5G phone. Juho Sarvikas is reported to have said “We see a particular opportunity for us in bringing 5G to a more affordable segment as we enter the market. I would say affordable in relation to what’s available today. I would love to see us at half of the price where you have 5G today”.
Details about the upcoming launch are quite vague at the moment. While this does not confirm for certain a 5G Nokia phone it shows HMD’s belief that it can market a 5G device in a lower price bracket. The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, for example, retails at £1,099 / $1,299 USD.
Notably, an executive saying he’d “love to see” his company turning out a half-price 5G phone is commendable but might not be possible in reality. Yes, 5G phones are expensive, but the hardware necessary for them to run is also expensive – or at least that is what we are led to believe by manufacturers such as Samsung, LG, and Huawei.
Meanwhile, Motorola offers 5G via one of its Moto Mods in the US and recently announced that it is now compatible on the Verizon network with 2017’s Moto Z2 Force, a phone with the Snapdragon 835 processor. That phone is no slouch, but the fact it’s two years old hints that 5G tech can work effectively in mid-range hardware. This is the direction HMD appears to want to take Nokia when it comes to 5G.
It is likely that HMD’s Nokia relationship extends to Nokia’s network equipment arm where it can closely observe how cheaper hardware can cope with the demands of the new generation 5G networks. Either way, it’s encouraging to hear companies are already looking into cheaper ways to get 5G in more people’s pockets.