Qualcomm’s Snapdragon is the processor for many Android phone flagships each year, but this year’s bundling of the SnapSnapdragon 865 and X55 5G distribution modules has made it difficult for many manufacturers to even adopt a secondary flagship processor to avoid a rise.
Although the SnapSnapdragon 865 does not have an integrated 5G baseband, mobile phone manufacturers can’t use the 4G baseband as a 4G phone solution. Qualcomm says the SnapSnapdragon 865 and X55 basebands are packaged packages, or SnapDragon865 and X55 basebands are packaged and sold, and phone makers can’t buy SnapSnapdragon 865 alone, or use SnapDragon865 to combine with 4G basebands.
Media Ars Technica points out that current handset makers are not interested in breaking the current price cap for flagships, especially in the face of intense competition and saturation in the high-end handset market. So more and more handset makers are no longer keen to launch flagship phones with Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line processors, opting instead for secondary processors.
The most typical example is LG’s latest G9 ThinQ, which comes with a SnapDragon 765 processor that supports 5G networks. HMD’s latest Nokia 8.3 also uses the processor. In addition, XDA Developers found evidence that Google’s upcoming Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL would not carry the Qualcomm SnapSnapdragon 865, opting for a secondary processor.
Qualcomm is rolling out a new X60 5G modem that is faster than the X55, but it raises the same question: How can manufacturers balance high-performance hardware with cost?