It has been ages since any old-style feature phone could credibly be described as "cutting-edge," but that doesn't mean people don't still buy them. Especially in poorer countries where the smartphone market is less saturated and mobile networks are less robust, they can make up as much as one-third to one-half of sales. Flip phones are not a growth market, but there's still money to be made.
That's the thinking behind Qualcomm's new 205 Mobile Platform—remember, Qualcomm is now pushing "platforms" instead of "processors," and low-end 200-series chips aren't Snapdragons anymore. It's a chip made to power feature phones, but it's also designed to bring some "smart" features to these low-end, low-cost devices.
That list starts with Category 4 LTE, which means a 150Mbps theoretical download speed and 50Mbps upload speed; Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Voice over Wi-Fi are both supported, too, and dual-SIM support is included. 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 support handle basic local wireless connectivity. The SoC uses a dual-core 1.1GHz CPU of unspecified architecture plus a Qualcomm Adreno GPU, but, being a feature phone processor, it caps display support at 480p and camera support at a paltry 3 megapixels. Qualcomm will support Linux-based operating systems on the platform, which presumably include but will not be limited to Android. And the company promises battery-life figures that smartphone users can only dream about—45 days of standby time, 20 hours of talk time, and 86 hours of music playback.
This isn't going to be Qualcomm's most important platform by any stretch. But seeing companies like Qualcomm and Nokia revisit and modernize the old feature-phone template for the smartphone era is interesting. The Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform is available now, and you'll start seeing it in phones sometime in Q2.