Leaked Snapdragon 875 pricing implies next-gen flagships will be even more expensive
Android flagships have been almost ridiculously priced this year, with traditionally affordable premium phones from Xiaomi and OnePlus all seeing significant jumps in prices, relative to their predecessors. That was mostly due to the cost of the Snapdragon 865, and while some may have hoped the Snapdragon 875 would represent a step back towards normality, new information indicates otherwise.
According to information coming from Korea, the Snapdragon 875 will be even more expensive than the Snapdragon 865. Supposedly, the Snapdragon 865 will see a huge 50% increase in price compared to the current SD865. The chip itself is expected to cost in the region of US$130, up from around US$85 with the Snapdragon 865. However, the entire chipset is touted to cost about US$250 versus the Snapdragon 865's US$160.
The latter figure is more important here since it appears Qualcomm's new policy is to make the purchase of the entire chipset mandatory. For example, the X55 5G modem wasn't integrated into the Snapdragon 865, but OEMs had to buy both the SoC and modem together.
The implication of this is that flagship phones will be even more expensive in 2021, seeing as the chipset alone is expected to be over US$100 more expensive. There's substantial information indicating that Google will not use a Snapdragon 865 on the Pixel 5 due to cost concerns. It's likely more OEMs take a similar stance; opting to use a Snapdragon 700-series chipset— or source silicon from Samsung or MediaTek instead.
MediaTek SoCs have come a long way over the past two years or so, and may now make their way into the mainstream flagship market. Samsung has also finally ditched its custom Mongoose cores, so the next-gen Exynos SoC should be a lot more competitive.