Qualcomm: We'll see 4K Ultra High Definition mobile devices this year

Many mobile phone and tablet manufacturers are still playing catch up on the Full HD front, but Qualcomm's CEO Paul Jacobs believes there will be several 4K Ultra High Definition devices launched before the end of the year.

The company's new mobile processor, Snapdragon 800, is capable of encoding and decoding 4K UHD video content, and 7.1 surround sound audio besides, but critics have suggested this is more a headline grabber than a technology that will be used in mobile phones or tablets. At least at present.

Jacobs disagrees. Speaking to Pocket-lint, he said the company had been working with its partners and there were likely to be 50 or more devices that will feature the Snapdragon 800 quad-core 2.3GHz processor coming out in the "second half of the year".

Of those, some - most likely tablets - will feature resolutions much higher than 1080p. And they will be able to capture 4K footage through their on-board cameras too.

"There are a lot of devices in the pipeline that use Snapdragon 800, so I guess I should say 'stay tuned'," he said about the possibility of their being able to natively show 4K footage. "This year we'll start to see those devices."

He also revealed that the adoption of the Snapdragon 800 processor will bring a brand new category to the mobile device market, one positioned higher than the current top-end smartphones and tablets.

"The 800 will create a new class of products," he told us. "They'll be right at the top."

New devices to be released into what we currently know as the "high-end" of the market will be served by the also new Snapdragon 600 processor, and be released from the second quarter. Snapdragon 800 devices will be classified as super premium handsets and tablets.

That probably means they will come at super premium prices too.