Qualcomm generally introduces a couple of variants of its flagship chipsets every year. However, things are changing rapidly at the biggest mobile semiconductor companies in the world. We’ve just witnessed the arrival of Snapdragon 870 and Snapdragon 860, which are nothing but the overclocked Snapdragon 865 Plus and 855 Plus.
Now there is a rumour that the Snapdragon 888 may get a couple of variants including the 888 Pro and a 4G only Snapdragon 888 Lite. And while the Snapdragon 888 Pro could be an overclocked Snapdragon 888 with 5G connectivity it is the other Lite variant that seems to be interesting.
According to numerous leaks, this Lite version with a model number SM8450 could drop 5G connectivity in favour of 4G, making it cheaper and viable for countries where 5G is still a distant dream. Most importantly, this chipset is expected to be powering Huawei’s upcoming flagship Huawei P50 series that is expected to launch sometime in July.
Chinese smartphone maker Huawei, thanks to the ban imposed by the US, is currently struggling without the proper supply of chipsets. It is unable to work with any technology company that uses American technology. This means that the Huawei P50 might still ship without GMS and will use its own Harmony OS, which was recently released.
Even though Qualcomm is a US company, it managed to obtain a license to supply 4G chipsets to Huawei. Now since Huawei is barred from using 5G tech provided by American companies, a 4G only Snapdragon 888 will not cause a conflict.
Much needed respite
For Huawei, though the situation may not be ideal, it is still a welcome solution. Its smartphone business has been in disarray and its stock of HiSilicon chipsets has been dwindling at a rapid pace. Also, the company was forced to sell its Honor line up and there were reports that it was even considering doing away with its flagship P series and Mate lineup.
Considering the above situation, the Liter version of Snapdragon could come as a blessing for the Chinese company that was once one of the top few smartphone makers. Also, since the Snapdragon 888 is a flagship chipset that powers the latest and best Android flagships, it is expected that the Huawei P50 may offer similar performance, sans 5G connectivity.
Additionally, since the chipset is once available, it will also open doors for other manufacturers to use it to offer cheaper flagship devices for users who are ok to skip 5G connectivity.
With that being said, since this is a part of the rumour mill, hence till the time Qualcomm or Huawei confirm the news, we will have to take this with the proverbial pinch of salt.