ibusinesslines.com March 24, 2017

Qualcomm to bring 4G to feature phones

20 March 2017, 02:16 | Jodi Jackson

Image Altaf Qadri AP REX Shutterstock

Image Altaf Qadri  AP  REX  Shutterstock

Although a majority of mobile phone users go for touchscreen smartphones, a chunk of the population in developing nations are still reliant on cheap feature phones for connectivity.

The Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform includes the 28nm-based Qualcomm 205 SoC which utilizes a dual core CPU clocked at 1.1GHz and is complemented by an Adreno 304 GPU, LPDDR2/3 and eMMC 4.5.

While Qualcomm has had 200-series SoCs in the past, the focus with the 205 Mobile Platform is to enable low-priced handsets to support 4G VoLTE as well. "The launch of Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform presents a unique opportunity for OEMs, operators and content providers to extend superior experiences to users by enabling data on feature phones".

For the first time since 2014, Qualcomm is updating its entry-level mobile platform. The new 205 SoC has been introduced keeping in mind some selected emerging markets such as India, Latin America and Southeast Asia. While the market for these phones does continue shrinking as smartphones become cheaper and income levels rise, they still exist and have a profound impact in shaping the future of these rural economies. The new SoC also has support for Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, ANT+, and FM Radio.

"Feature phones are a lifeline in many emerging countries and the "Qualcomm 205" mobile platform allows us to bring 4G connectivity and services to the masses with devices at price points never seen before", added Kedar Kondap, Vice President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies Inc. The chip will support front and rear cameras, HD video streaming, and dual-SIM devices, Qualcomm said, noting how its latest SoC was "built for more than calling".

The Snapdragon 205 Platform also packs in support for satellite systems like GPS, GLONASS and Beidou. Also the 205 Mobile Platform is pin-compatible with the Snapdragon 208/210 so the chipset could be used on existing designs without any sweat.

The Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform is available for OEMs and ODMs from today and devices sporting it will start selling in the market from second quarter onwards.

The US-based firm said that it has partnered with many vendors including Reliance Jio, Micromax, Borqs, Megaphone, Flextronics who plan to sell their 4G feature phones in India. The differentiating parameters between smartphones and feature phones are shrinking, which just shows how far we've come along in technology. As the Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform is scheduled to be commercialized by mid-2017, new details on the upcoming devices powered by the chip are bound to follow this spring.

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