Handset makers welcome rivals of Qualcomm because they don't want to be locked into one chip vendor, Brookwood said. But as the smartphone silicon market grows more competitive, consumers won't see that drive phone prices down across the board, he said. Instead, more chipmakers will lead to more choice: Manufacturers will adopt different underlying silicon to distinguish their phones in a variety of ways, such as battery life, performance and features, as well as price.
If Broadcom's smartphone price target is just under $300, that comes in around the middle range of the LTE market globally, between top-end phones such as the Apple iPhone 5S, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Nokia Lumia 1020 for around $600 and cheap phones in some markets going for as little as $100 without subsidies. Broadcom says its platform makes top-grade performance possible for that price range with both Category 4 LTE and 802.11ac silicon that Broadcom calls "5G Wi-Fi." The 802.11ac standard allows for as much as 1.3Gbps (bits per second).
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