Google could release a 5G smartphone next week: report

Google's rumoured 5G phone would be released before Apple decides to release a 5G smartphone

Pixel 3 XL

Google could have plans to reveal a 5G smartphone during its October keynote, Nikkei Asian Review reports.

Nikkei indicated that this phone will launch on October 15th alongside the two 4G-enabled Pixel handsets as well a new smartwatch and Chromebook.

“The two [Pixel 4] smartphones are already going into mass production and will be ready to ship after Google’s [new products] unveiling next week,” one of the sources told Nikkei. “Google is also working on a version with 5G technology, which is in test production.”

The report indicated that the 5G variant will include a Snapdragon 855 mobile processor. Additional information regarding the smartphone’s other technical specifications has not been revealed.

If this is true, Google will be the first U.S. company to directly challenge Apple and other leading hardware manufacturers like Samsung and Huawei to produce a 5G-enabled phone, Nikkei noted.

Google also has the cash to spend on new hardware. Nikkei noted that the company has approximately $117 billion USD (about $155 billion CAD), while its competitor Apple has about $102 billion (about $135 billion CAD).

“Bringing together software and hardware … does have a lot of synergistic value … and the main way to do that today for our core [search and software] products is by using hardware,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai, told analysts during a February conference call. “As we scale up our hardware efforts … you can definitely glimpse the future.”

It’s worth adding that, according to Nikkei, Google’s Pixel series still only holds a 0.5 percent smartphone market share. However, this number is growing and the company plans to ship as many as 10 million phones, a source said.

“Although Google’s smartphone shipments are still small, it’s one of the clients that still has healthy volume growth,” another source told Nikkei. “It offers better prices for suppliers too.”

The 5G model is currently being tested in China. However, it’s worth noting that because of U.S. tariffs on China, Google intends to produce all of its phones outside of China before shipping to the U.S.

Source: Nikkei Asian Review