Qualcomm has decided to link all sales of its new flagship system on the Snapdragon 865 chip with an external X55 5G modem. This decision could discourage smartphone manufacturers from using this chip in their new models. Instead, they choose other options to reduce the cost of manufacturing their devices and not raise their prices in stores.
When Qualcomm made a strange decision to abandon the integrated modem, it surprised many. This is the same company that previously announced the increase in energy efficiency in monolithic designs and the release of additional space inside smartphones when the modem is built directly into the processor.
Google, Nokia, LG and others don’t want the expensive Snapdragon 865
In the past few years, this manufacturer has been promoting 5G networks and introducing modems even in mid-range processors like Snapdragon 765 / 765G. At the same time, those who want to use the flagship chip must additionally pay for a separate X55 5G modem, even if they are going to release a smartphone with 4G support only. As a result, manufacturers of flagship smartphones this year has no interest in an expensive processor, especially in a saturated market even at the time of falling sales due to a pandemic.
In particular, we are talking about the upcoming smartphones like the LG G9 ThinQ. It will use the Snapdragon 765 processor with a built-in 5G modem. The same applies to HMD and Nokia 8.3. With regard to future devices, the Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL also have evidence of the abandonment of the Snapdragon 865.
Future 5G-enabled iPhone smartphones should get the Snapdragon X55 modem, as Apple has no choice. There is such a choice on Android, where manufacturers choose cheaper and simpler processors and save on it.
Meanwhile, Qualcomm is already promoting the next X60 5G modem, but in light of the foregoing, its prospects so far look doubtful.