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Android flagships in 2021 could be more expensive

Rumours have it that Qualcomm's next flagship chipset will be costlier than the current generation Snapdragon 865 chipset, thereby driving up prices of flagships.

Highlights

  • The Snapdragon 875 will be more expensive than the Snapdragon 865.
  • With the Snapdragon 875, prices are expected to go up by $100.
  • Qualcomm is expected to offer a performance boost of up to 30 per cent.

Smartphones have been getting more expensive this year and if a new rumours is to be believed, then expensive phones could get more deary to the wallet next year. According to a recent report from IT Home, Qualcomm could apparently announce the Snapdragon 875 chipset at a higher price than this year's Snapdragon 865 chip. This could eventually drive up prices of Android flagship phones next year by a considerable margin.

In the report, it says that an order document signed by Xiaomi confirms that the price of the Snapdragon 875 platform may amount to $250, which is much higher than the price of the Snapdragon 865 chip. Smartphone manufacturers manage to get the Snapdragon 865 at a price ranging between $150-$160. Hence, the next-generation Snapdragon 875 is almost $100 more expensive.

It is said that the $250 price includes both the SoC as well as Snapdragon X60 5G modem. This hints at Qualcomm sticking to its strategy of making manufacturers buy the modem separately while the chipset in itself comes with no modem onboard. This implementation in the current Snapdragon 865 has proven to increase prices of smartphones and even add to the bulk of the device.

In contrast, Qualcomm has been bundling its midrange chipsets with an integrated 5G modem and these are comparatively cheaper for smartphone manufacturers. Hence, many premium smartphones this year have resorted to stick to midrange Snapdragon 700 series chips instead of going for the high-end Snapdragon 800 chips. Case in point is the LG Velvet that uses a Snapdragon 765G instead of the 865. Google's Pixel 5 is also expected to stick to the Snapdragon 765G to keep prices under check.

Realme is one of the few brands that is relying on last year's Snapdragon 855 Plus for its newest phones. The Snapdragon 855 Plus is a highly capable chip and it can offer identical performance to the Snapdragon 865, sans the 5G connectivity.

Of course, the Snapdragon 875 is said to offer an improvement of 30 per cent with regards to raw performance. However, it will also push prices of flagship phones by almost $100. For those who stick to the OnePlus and Xiaomi flagships, they will have to end up paying more in order to get the newest in the technology.

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