LG was due to release its first 5G smartphone in May but that did not happen. It has now emerged that some disagreement with Qualcomm over chipset contract is responsible for the delay. Not just the V50 ThinQ 5G, all other 5G phones by LG could be delayed also.
LG and Qualcomm in conflict – 5G Plans at hold
Sources report that LG’s current contract with Qualcomm will expire soon. Due to this, the Korean giant is looking to negotiate a new contract with the chipset maker. However, a recent court ruling classified Qualcomm as a monopoly. LG is hoping to negotiate terms based on the court ruling. But the problem is that Qualcomm is appealing the antitrust ruling and so would not want to negotiate on that basis. Qualcomm’s appeal could linger and thus, force LG to enter into an unfair agreement with Qualcomm. For this reason, LG has instituted another lawsuit in the US, which opposes Qualcomm’s decision to set aside the antitrust ruling. Part of the court filing reads “If Qualcomm does not participate in negotiations with LG Electronics in accordance with the court’s order, LGE will have no option but to conclude license and chipset supply agreements once again on Qualcomm’s terms.”
Time is money for LG at the moment. The smartphone company had plans to re-enter the smartphone market and make some profits on its 5G phone. Speaking in an interview following the unveiling of the V40 last year, the president of LG’s mobile division, Hwang Jeong-Hwan, said their company is one of three manufacturers ready to launch a 5G-ready smartphone when 5G roll-out begins. LG believes this should give them a headstart and an increase in sales for the first half of 2019.