Qualcomm may be struggling to procure enough Snapdragon 888 chips for flagship phones
Qualcomm unveiled its flagship Snapdragon 888 chipset towards the end of last year. Since then, the chipset has made an appearance on several flagship devices, including Samsung’s Galaxy S21 lineup, Xiaomi’s Mi 11 and Redmi K40 devices, and the recently launched ROG Phone 5 and OPPO Find X3 Pro, among others. In the next few days, OnePlus will also launch its Snapdragon 888-powered flagships, the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro, which will likely be followed by several other such flagships over the next few months. But while OEMs are announcing new Snapdragon 888 devices as per their usual schedule, Qualcomm may not be able to supply enough chips to get these new smartphones into your hands.
As a new report from Reuters points out, Qualcomm is currently struggling to meet the demand for both its flagship and mid-range chips due to a global semiconductor shortage. Sources familiar with the details have told the publication that a shortage of Qualcomm’s chips has hit the production of Samsung’s mid-range and low-end models, and the company’s flagship Snapdragon 888 chip is also in short supply.
Although a Samsung spokesperson declined to comment on the matter, a Qualcomm representative reassured the publication that the company believes it can meet its fiscal second-quarter sales forecast. Despite Qualcomm’s reassurance, a senior executive at a top contract manufacturer for several smartphone OEMs told Reuters that it was facing a shortage of a variety of Qualcomm components and would cut handset shipments this year. Since the shortage doesn’t affect Qualcomm’s flagship chipset alone, we expect to see a significant decline in smartphone sales this year.
It’s worth noting that Qualcomm isn’t the only company affected by the global semiconductor shortage. Several consumer electronics and automobile manufacturers are dealing with a dearth of chips, which has resulted in a stockpiling race that further exacerbates the issue.