Are Affordable Smartphones at Risk of Disappearing? Weak Demand for Entry-Level Processors Suggests So


Most handset manufacturers are focusing their efforts on making high-end smartphones that give higher profit margins. Unfortunately, this has affected the demand for budget smartphone processors and in the coming times, these affordable devices might be pushed out of the market completely.

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A new report has alleged that manufacturers like Qualcomm and MediaTek have taken a cue from the weakening demand for entry-level processors and they are now diverting their resources towards powerful AI chips that manufacturers are ready to pay higher prices for these days. Qualcomm is also trying to minimize the difference between high-end and mid-range smartphones.

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This will enable smartphone makers to release devices that are comparable to the flagship models, hence you see chipsets like the Snapdragon 710 getting introduced and the eventual release of the Snapdragon 730 will be a testament to those efforts. MediaTek is no longer focusing on high-end performance processors as growth has saturated and is instead making mid-range processors that are expected to perform well in the second quarter of 2018. The Taiwanese fabless semiconductor manufacturer also has a plan to bring affordable devices that will tout 5G connectivity.

This demand shift doesn’t signal the end of entry-level smartphones, obviously. It rather means that low-cost smartphones are now expected to perform better. Up until now, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 series was targeted at low-cost smartphones but in the future, the Snapdragon 400 series are expected to power entry-level handsets. The upcoming Snapdragon 429 and Snapdragon 439 are great examples of this and have been made to power the Android Go lineup of phones.

Apart from the changes in the lower-end smartphone market, the approach towards high-end devices is expected to remain the same. Chip manufacturers such as Qualcomm may even come out with even a more premium line in the future to serve the high-end smartphone markets as the demand for powerful processors continues to increase. However, the release of the Snapdragon 700 series means that this might not happen anytime soon.

News Source: DigiTimes