Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 could be more expensive than the Gen 3

Recent reports have indicated that the pricing for Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is higher than its predecessors, requiring clients to spend more to procure flagship SoCs for mobile platforms. This upward trend in pricing seems unlikely to cease; in fact, costs may reach unprecedented levels. Next year, Qualcomm is set to introduce its fourth-generation Snapdragon 8, rumored to incorporate a custom Oryon core infused with NUVIA technology, and it’s highly probable that it will be manufactured using TSMC’s 3nm process.

According to Android Authority, Chris Patrick, Qualcomm’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of Mobile Business, articulated that while custom CPU cores aren’t necessarily exorbitant, Qualcomm must strike a delicate balance between cost, power consumption, and performance—a balance that comes at a price.

During the recent Snapdragon Summit, Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon X Elite, its most potent computing processor crafted for PCs to date, harnessing the custom Oryon core and primarily targeting laptops. Qualcomm plans to integrate the custom Oryon core into the fourth-generation Snapdragon 8, bringing its latest innovations to smartphones, broadening its applicability, and, in the process, distributing some of the developmental costs. It’s reported that Qualcomm has incurred significant expenses in the development of the custom Oryon core, making it imperative to maximize the return on investment and recuperate R&D costs swiftly.

There are, however, merits to increased R&D costs. For instance, the recently launched third-generation Snapdragon 8 managed to outperform Apple’s A17 Pro in Geekbench 6’s multi-core benchmark tests, crowning it the fastest mobile SoC. Undoubtedly, next year’s fourth-generation Snapdragon 8 promises even greater prowess. Given the elevated developmental costs coupled with TSMC’s latest manufacturing process, raising the price seems to be the only viable option. This implies that smartphone manufacturers may be compelled to augment their end-user pricing to mitigate any significant hits to their profit margins.