Qualcomm today announced its Snapdragon 870 5G Mobile Platform, which it describes as a follow-on to the Snapdragon 865 Plus, the mid-2020 flagship chipset, itself a follow-on to the late-2019 Snapdragon 865 flagship.
Confused? You should be: Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 888 in December as its latest flagship mobile chipset.
“Building upon the success of Snapdragon 865 and 865 Plus, the new Snapdragon 870 was designed to address OEM and mobile industry requirements,” Qualcomm vice president Kedar Kondap noted in a prepared statement. “Snapdragon 870 will power a selection of flagship devices from key customers including Motorola, iQOO, OnePlus, OPPO, and Xiaomi.”
That’s obviously a list of mostly-Asian companies—three of them are Chinese—and maybe that’s the point. Qualcomm’s chipsets are a lot of things, but one of the chief complaints is that they’re too expensive. And with the Snapdragon 870, Qualcomm has a more iterative leap over 2020’s chipsets that can sell for less than the 888.
Still, this seems somewhat unprecedented. Typically, Qualcomm has released new chipsets at different performance tiers, with its 600- and 700-series chips providing less expensive—and less capable—options for use in less expensive devices.
Devices based on Snapdragon 870 will be announced in the first quarter of 2021, Qualcomm says. You can learn more about this chipset from the Qualcomm website