It seems phone makers like Google, Nokia and LG don't want Qualcomm's expensive Snapdragon...


TS Addict
Staff member

When Qualcomm made the peculiar decision to leave out an integrated modem from its Snapdragon 865 mobile platform, many were puzzled to see this coming from the same company that previously claimed power efficiency from a monolithic design, not to mention less space needed inside the phone.

Over the last few years, the silicon giant has been pushing for 5G adoption in its own way, with 5G being integrated into lower-end SoCs like the Snapdragon 765/765G. On the other hand, manufacturers that want the most powerful chip inside their phones have to cough up extra for the separate X55 5G modem, even if they only plan on making a 4G-only version of the phone.

As noted by Ars Technica, manufacturers are not that interested in making their flagship phones even more expensive than they already are, especially now that the market is saturated and sales are slowing down.

This is evident from reports that LG's upcoming G9 ThinQ will come with the cheaper Snapdragon 765 that has 5G connectivity built into it, a move that would echo HMD and its Nokia 8.3 smartphone. XDA Developers found references for Google's upcoming Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL, which seem to indicate a similar approach in skipping Qualcomm's premium chipset.

Apple's upcoming 5G iPhones will reportedly also come with Snapdragon X55 modems, with no choice but to get creative about how to use the limited space inside the phones. But Android manufacturers arguably do have an easier choice, and that's to go with a slower SoC that simplifies the design of their phones and thus saves them money in the process.

Meawhile, Qualcomm is pushing ahead with a new X60 5G modem that's faster than the X55 but begs the same question: why would manufacturers bother dealing with power-hungry hardware that increases their costs when they can sacrifice a bit of performance for a much better deal?

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Actually I'm happy they brought it out now so they can take a beating and have to unload them much cheaper later on. That will give many makers an opportunity to build on a powerful platform at a fraction of the cost and keep them in competition with the "big boys". Lots yet to happen, but it could work out to every buyers benefit ....


TS Evangelist
I still feel like 5G is still a few years from now (end of 2022 or early 2023) and I really hate that Qualcomm is just abusing this to increase a price for their CPUs.
Countless companies do this. It's only abuse if you promote it by buying said product/service.


TS Booster
Funny to see the comments here. Qualcomm fee represent about 10$ per phone, however Samsung is charging you 1500$ for a galaxy fold and Apple 1200$ for their top of the line phone.

I am glad that the like of QCOM makes Intel and other giants bend over their patents, that means they are a reference and they cannot do without them.

Apple dropped their lawsuits for a reason. All the others are going to do the same.


TS Evangelist
It's abuse of monopolistic market power, because Qualcomm won't sell you their SoC unless you buy the separate 5G modem. That sort of sh!t has been beaten down in the courts before and Qualcomm is already on thin ice.
But we know the separate modem is worse in terms of heat and battery drain. And you can buy the 765/765G, as major players are doing.

If Qualcomm is on thin ice, then let them fall, but it's far too early for pitchforks. At least for me, because I'm not that conspiracy guy in the comments. I prefer facts and/or waiting things out. I know the world can go without the SD 865 and still live a happy life. My life won't change if Qualcomm is punished again. I'm sure I have a lot of hardware made by companies that have paid heavy fines in the past for wrongdoings, but I don't care, because I still got what I needed. That's all anyone should care about. And speak with your wallet. Everyone always seems to forget that. Even when major players do it publicly.

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