Huawei has now revealed that it is on track to have commercially ready 5G smartphones on the market as early as the second half of 2019. That’s according to reports out of the company’s home country, following statements made by the Huawei’s CEO of Consumer Business, Yu Chengdong, at the World Internet Conference in China. Previously, the company had announced plans to launch hardware products with 5G connectivity as early as 2018. This new announcement appears to suggest that the 5G compatibility included in its 2019 smartphones will be delivered via Huawei’s own chipsets. Chengdong went on to explain that the company will also be incorporating its A.I.-specific chips, such as its recently debuted Kirin 970 chip, with even more devices beginning over the next year.
Meanwhile, Chengdong also cites the rapid rise of mobile communications and the recent shift from mobile-first to A.I.-first technologies over the past year as reasons for the Huawei’s confidence in its timeframe. 2019 is also the year in which several industry leaders and analysts expect to have 5G infrastructure rolled out by many of the mobile service providers around the world. Perhaps most pertinent to Huawei’s confidence in the timeline is the fact that the world’s first 5G New Radio system has already been successfully tested under and as part of a joint partnership between ZTE, Qualcomm, and China Mobile. China Mobile is a state-run, nationwide mobile telecommunications provider. Looking past the statements made by the executive of the company, Huawei also managed to take home the “World’s Leading Internet Technology Achievement Award,” which was issued by the committee responsible for organizing the World Internet Conference. That award was granted for Huawei’s pre-commercial 5G system.
The confidence expressed by Huawei, given the circumstances, probably doesn’t come as too much of a shock for anybody who has been following the company’s progress. Huawei CEO Xu Zhijun first revealed a very similar plan way back in 2009 at the same conference. This latest announcement from the company does not appear to deviate in any significant ways from that previous schedule. Whether or not the company can ultimately follow through on its goals, on the other hand, remains to be seen.