We’ve been told that “5G is here” for at least 3 years now even if it most definitely has not been here on a level that will make a difference in your life. During that time, the technology has evolved, carriers have tried to be “first” or fastest or the most available, and all of the tech we buy has it embedded. Part of the reason we know that 5G is in everything is because all involved parties put a “5G” brand in as many places as possible and never stop talking about it, because they all made a big bet on 5G to sell lots of stuff.
The biggest investor in 5G is realizing it no longer needs to keep telling you that everything has 5G. I’m not sure I actually believe them, but Qualcomm announced today that because 5G “has become ubiquitous across [their] Snapdragon Portfolio,” they are “eliminating the need to call it out specifically” and that “5G will be a given.”
The announcement comes alongside several changes to their Snapdragon brand, where they plan to make Snapdragon a separate brand from Qualcomm that is represented by new colors and a simplified naming scheme. As an example, their next flagship chip series will be the Snapdragon 8-Series and additional chip lines should follow a similar single digit scheme.
That’s all fine, but we really are only interested in this 5G step-back. Seriously, I don’t know what else Qualcomm has to talk about. Every single press conference from them over the past 5 or so years has been about 5G, with a touch of gaming or cameras or AI. It’s almost all, “Hey, 5G is here (again) for the 4th time…and here’s a partner who made a phone with 5G unnecessarily in the name!” Then that partner shows up and runs through the typical 5G talking points of how it’ll change lives and something-something medical industry and how streamed, 5G virtual concerts are way cooler than the real thing.
All I know is that this should lead to less “Pixel 5a 5G” or “Galaxy S20 FE 5G UW” phones and that’s a positive. We all know what 5G is and that maybe one day it’ll be cool. But thus far, especially if you are on Verizon, our phone’s names have been nothing but reminders that you are likely paying more for phones or service thanks to a network connection type you can’t even access in your home town.