Qualcomm has announced a list of international mobile operators that will support a new ‘Always Connected PC’ category, but has yet to announce a Canadian operator.
In response to MobileSyrup’s request for information about Canadian carriers, a Qualcomm spokesperson followed up by stating that right now there are no Canadian carriers, but to “keep an eye out for more news at MWC.”
The chipset giant’s list of partner operators comprises China Telecom, Telecom Italia, U.K. carrier EE and Sprint and Verizon in the U.S. Qualcomm says select operators in some countries will also stock the ARM-based laptops — so far, the Asus NovaGo, HP Envy x2 and Lenovo Miix 630 — in retail locations.
The three laptops run Windows 10 S on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset, with the option of upgrading for free to Windows 10 Pro with the promise of seamless x86 emulation for full desktop apps — though reviewers have yet to confirm whether the devices live up to this promise. Multi-day battery life is also yet to be confirmed, but is one of the major benefits being touted by Microsoft, Qualcomm and their hardware partners, along with fanless, lightweight designs.
At Qualcomm’s recent Snapdragon Tech Summit in Hawaii, now-president Cristiano Amon (then speaking as executive vice-president of Qualcomm Technologies) acknowledged the need for carrier support in order for the always-connected PC to succeed, stating: “I think the carriers understand that they need to go to other devices to generate growth.”
He also noted he expects phone-focused manufacturers to enter the connected laptop marketplace in the future, and see this as a potential force for broadening the market. If he’s right, and Samsung or even Apple, creates an ARM-based laptop, it would certainly cement the new category in place for wireless carriers in years to come.