Qualcomm is allegedly developing its own branded smartphones, which will be produced in partnership with Asus, according to a report by Digitimes.
These won’t just be run-of-the-mill phones, either – they’ll be premium gaming phones, per industry sources, and could come out as soon as the end of 2020.
- The Snapdragon 865 powers many entries on our best phones list
- We expect many of those top phones to be discounted on Amazon Prime Day
- The first phone to pack a Snapdragon 875? Probably the Samsung Galaxy S21
Asus will be responsible for designing and developing the hardware, according to Android Authority – which shouldn’t be a surprise given the company’s released several high-end gaming phones, culminating in the Asus ROG 3. Qualcomm, on the other hand, will create the ‘industry design’ and software running on top of its Snapdragon 875 platform.
The report notes that the next Asus ROG phone and Qualcomm's gaming phone will likely share parts and components like displays, memory, cameras, batteries, and cooling systems, so expect some hardware similarities between the two smartphone lines.
That Snapdragon 875 chipset hasn’t been officially confirmed, but it’s rumored to debut during Qualcomm’s annual showcase on December 1 and 2. That’s when the company traditionally unveils its new mobile-optimized silicon to be featured in the next year’s flagships.
Snapdragon 875 and the next year’s flagships
Nearly every flagship Android phone sports that year’s Snapdragon 800-series chipset; for instance, the Snapdragon 865 debuted in the Samsung Galaxy S20 line and has come out in phones throughout 2020, like the OnePlus 8 series.
But top-end phones in the last few months have switched to the slightly faster Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset, including the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 line. Thus, we can probably expect a Snapdragon 875 Plus, but not before mid-2021.
In the meantime, we’ll look forward to what the baseline Snapdragon 875 brings: since the 865 ushered in a year of widespread 5G support, we’re curious what its successor will accomplish. Ideally, this would bundle the 5G modem with the chipset, as prior versions in the Snapdragon 800 line did with 4G modems. This would save precious space that’s currently taken up by discrete modems like the Snapdragon X55, which pairs with current top-end Snapdragon chipsets to enable 5G connectivity.
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David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.