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Huawei's first 5G phone is coming next year

Not that it's likely to be sold in the US...

Josh Miller

5G is the next tech revolution. Slated to launch around 2020, Huawei is getting a head start.

The company's first 5G phone will go on sale next year, it announced at Mobile World Congress Shanghai, sometime before the end of June 2019. It'll follow Huawei's first 5G Kirin chip, which it says will come in March.

Earlier this year, 18 phone makers committed to releasing a 5G phone sometime in 2019. LG, HTC and Xiaomi were on that list, but Huawei was conspicuously absent. Apple and Samsung, the world's biggest phone makers, still haven't made their 5G plans clear.

There's a tidal wave of hype surrounding 5G, the next-generation wireless technology that promises to be significantly faster and more responsive than anything before it. In some cases -- such as its potential application in self-driving cars, telemedicine, the trend of devices called internet of things -- it can be life-changing.

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How long those promises take to be realised, we don't know. But companies promise 5G phones will have insane internet speeds roughly 10 times as fast as the 4G ones we currently enjoy.

Huawei will differentiate itself by using its own modem and processor, as opposed to one supplied by Qualcomm, but no matter how fast and cool it is, it's unlikely to be officially available in the US. The company has been in the US government's crosshairs since January, which was lead to Huawei losing out on deals with the likes of AT&T, Verizon and Best Buy.