Qualcomm Is Reportedly Struggling To Keep Up With Snapdragon 888 Demand

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The past six months have been an exercise in frustration for enthusiasts attempting to get their hands on AMD/NVIDIA graphics cards, Ryzen processors, and even new game consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. The overwhelming demand for chips now seems to be affecting the largest single supplier of SoCs for smartphones: Qualcomm.

According to a new report, Qualcomm is finding it challenging to meet the demand for its Snapdragon processors, which are used not only in mobile devices like smartphones and tablets but also in automobiles. According to unnamed sources, Qualcomm has been inundated with orders for its flagship Snapdragon 888 SoC. While strong demand for premium-priced and high-margin chips would typically be music to Qualcomm's ears, it has been unable to keep up with demand, according to unnamed sources. "It's not a shortage, it's an extreme shortage," said Xiaomi VP Lu Weibing.

qualcomm snapdragon 888

The Snapdragon 888 is used in flagship smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S21 family and the bodacious ASUS ROG Phone 5. But it's not just its flagship SoCs that have been affected; it's also reported that the shortages are affecting its low- and mid-range SoC product lines. Reuters reports that Samsung, in particular, has been affected by Qualcomm's chip woes, which has the potential to affect its position at the top of the leaderboard for global smartphone sales.

Interestingly, another reason cited for the shortage is that many users are abandoning Huawei at a rapid clip. The U.S. placed sanctions on Huawei over national security concerns, which cut off access to hardware components and software from U.S. companies. Without access to Google apps and services, Huawei smartphones aren't nearly as attractive today as they were just a few years ago.

Despite the concerns from OEMs and analysts about adequate chip supplies, Qualcomm still believes that it can hit its shipment forecasts for Q2 2021. 

There is no indication as to when Qualcomm will be able to see some relief from its supply woes, but the company is trying to redirect as much production to the Snapdragon 888 as possible. While that may be beneficial for customers in the market for a flagship smartphone, it could mean more severe shortages ahead for entry-level and mid-range smartphones.