The seemingly unstoppable rise of high-end smartphones seemed to have ground to a halt or at least taken a breather as the entire world finds itself in a very different situation from just six months ago. While expensive smartphones continue to be announced, sales numbers indicate a slight shift in favor of less expensive options, even if they are of the mid-range kind. Perhaps unperturbed by global market trends, Qualcomm is reportedly pushing through its planned new features as well as a new price that consumers will end up shouldering in the long run.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragons are arguably the cream of the crop in mobile processors and, outside of Apple’s own A chips, it may not have much competition in terms of features and performance. It does, however, have competition in pricing as these chipsets are also easily some of the most expensive in the market. According to at least one source, it’s about to get even more expensive.
That source claims that prices for Qualcomm’s next premium silicon are about to almost double. The Snapdragon 875 chip alone will cost $130 compared to the $85 of the Snapdragon 865. Things get even worse when you consider that Qualcomm sells packages with both a Snapdragon SoC and a 5G modem inside. That cost will be $250 versus last year’s $160.
To be fair, those costs do come with more and better features but not all of them may be practical or even usable during a phone’s lifetime. One such feature is support for 100W fast charging, something Xiaomi and other Chinese OEMs have been playing around with. Those same companies, however, don’t envision such a 100-watt charging technology to be anywhere near ready for prime time.
In other words, the Snapdragon 875 is sure to have a boatload of features, some of which may not be of much use to consumers for the next two years or so. Yes, that even includes 5G. Given Qualcomm’s new strategy, however, manufacturers will have to pay the higher costs of those chips which, in turn, will get offloaded to consumers in the final retail price.