Qualcomm has slowly been raising the prices of its flagship smartphone chipsets, making the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 the most expensive SoC the company has shipped to its partners. In fact, according to one estimation, the latest silicon is 25 percent costlier than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, meaning that smartphone manufacturers would either have to raise their own prices, making it even more difficult for consumers to upgrade, or sacrifice their margins.
Biggest price hike came when Qualcomm introduced the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1; Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 was hinted to be more expensive than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
Before the launch of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, it was rumored that the latter would be more expensive than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. For those that do not know, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 was estimated to cost around $160 for Qualcomm’s partners, making it already a tough pill to swallow. In fact, Apple’s A16 Bionic is mass produced at a lower price than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, indicating that there might come a time when phone makers may start exploring other options to save up on component costs.
Data published by Weibo user ‘HR before HW’ and spotted by Mochamad Farido Fanani reveals how Qualcomm has slowly been increasing its chipset prices, with the biggest jump coming with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 launch, which was estimated to cost 1,200 Yuan, or $169. The Snapdragon 870, in comparison, was rumored to be priced at 630 Yuan, or $89. With the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, Qualcomm is apparently charging its partners $200, which would explain why Samsung launched its Galaxy S24 series with the Exynos 2400 in several markets, as it would allow the Korean giant to maintain its margins while retaining the price of some models.
However, in the U.S., the Galaxy S24 Ultra retails for $1,299.99, marking a $100 increase compared to last year, which was likely done due to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 price hike and possibly thanks to switching to the new titanium shell. According to a Qualcomm executive, the San Diego’s upward trend of charging its partners more may not see an end with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4, as the transition to the custom cores means the latter could be even more expensive than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.
While the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4’s alleged single-core and multi-core performance leak is highly impressive, it will matter little if the price becomes out of range. Fortunately, it is not like phone manufacturers have little choice in the matter because the Dimensity 9400 is slated to enter mass production later this year to take away some of Qualcomm’s market, and MediaTek can capitalize on this opportunity by charging its clientele less than the price of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4.