The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 is the global semiconductor shortage's newest victim
While the smartphone industry, for the most part, has been unaffected by the global semiconductor shortage, it was only a matter of time before that changed. A new report from Reuters says that Qualcomm is unable to keep up with the demand for its flagship Snapdragon 888 SoC. Although Samsung's 5nm yields have been decent so far, there is a limit to the number of chips it can manufacture.
Xiaomi CEO Lu Weibing also commented about the situation on Weibo some time ago, calling it an "extreme shortage." Xiaomi will likely be one of the first companies to feel the effects of the said shortage, as its massively popular Redmi K40 and Mi 11 line of smartphones run a Snapdragon 888 SoC. Other Chinese OEMs such as Realme, Oppo, and Vivo will be affected too, but not as much. Samsung's high-end offerings should be ok, for the most part, as a vast majority of them use the company's in-house Exynos chipsets.
The report adds that Qualcomm's chip shortage resulted in a cascading effect, which seems to be affecting the production of low-end and mid-range Samsung smartphones, presumably because Qualcomm uses Samsung's infrastructure. Of the many components that are short in supply, power management chips are one of the worst affected. Therefore, Qualcomm is redirecting its entire lot of power management chips towards the Snapdragon 888 line, which, in turn, is affecting the company's other offerings.