One of the biggest smartphone chip makers in the industry, Qualcomm, unveiled its latest chip for flagship phones in the market last year. This chip has been named as the Snapdragon 865 which is a successor to the Snapdragon 855+ from early 2019.
However, there is a difference between the Snapdragon 865 and the chips released by them in the flagship range earlier. With the Snapdragon 865, Qualcomm is forcing the OEMs to add 5G support to their phones because its latest flagship chip comes only in 5G version with a modem.
So for those smartphone companies that want Qualcomm’s latest chip but do not want to add 5G support, they don’t have any option but to look elsewhere. There is also the reasoning that adding 5G support to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chip has made it even more expensive.
In between this, a new and surprising revelation has come that Google and LG are not interested in this year’s Snapdragon 865 chips. Both these smartphone makers release their latest flagship phones with the latest flagship chip from Qualcomm. However, the report says that this year might be different for them.
It is also worth noting that a previous report suggested Google is no longer considering its Pixel lineup of phones in the flagship category. This means that the company might launch this year’s Pixel phones with an upper mid-range chip and slightly lower price. This makes sense because the sales of $1000 Pixel phones have not been great to say the least. So reducing the price while providing the same camera experience and software support will make more people buy those phones.
As for LG, it is already struggling in the market from last few years and many have even questioned the reason why it is still in the market despite minimal sales of its flagship phones. Also, space is a concern when you add Snapdragon 865 chip to your device because you also need to add the X55 modem for 5G support.
We have seen that Samsung’s Galaxy S20 series with 5G support for all the phones was quite expensive starting at the US $1000 mark. This clearly shows that the latest chips from Qualcomm are expensive and add up to the cost of phones which might make companies reduce their margins.
Also, 5G support with Snapdragon 865 makes companies add bigger battery due to higher consumption which also adds to the cost of a phone. Therefore, it makes more sense for companies such as Google and LG who are already not doing well in the market to tone down a little instead of going all-in on 5G support.
The same reports say that instead of Snapdragon 865 chips, Google and LG are looking to add Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G processor which is slightly less powerful than the former but does not mandate 5G support.
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