(Pocket-lint) - When the Snapdragon 888 was announced in December 2021, it was announced as a 5G-only platform. That could be about to change, with rumours that Qualcomm is going to be launching a version without the 5G.
Qualcomm has a lower end derivate of the Snapdragon 888 (SM8350) in the works. SM8325 is the model number and there seems to be NO integrated 5G modem on this one. #CheapFlagshipPhones— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) March 8, 2021
The information comes from Roland Quandt, who has a good reputation for such leaks, suggesting that Qualcomm is on the verge of expanding its offerings. We'd previously heard that Qualcomm was preparing to launch a new 700 series platform too.
The uncoupling of SD888 and the modem isn't as radical as you might think. The predecessor, Snapdragon 865, didn't have integrated 5G: the X55 modem was separate, allowing a modular approach to designing devices on the Snapdragon platform.
Qualcomm went in a slightly different direction for 2021, probably because of the wide adoption of 5G by manufacturers; it's likely that having an integrated solution allows for better optimisation while giving manufacturers access to the latest hardware at lower costs.
Separating them, however, would allow devices to be built on Snapdragon 888 without 5G. That might be because there's still a demand for 4G devices and again, this could be a route to lower costs for manufacturers.
That could mean that we see Snapdragon 888 devices in the future that don't have 5G access or come in more at affordable prices.
As we've said previously, we think there's a couple of launches coming up from Qualcomm because the rumours are intensifying and there's currently a gap in the sub-flagship space for new hardware - a gap that we think Qualcomm will soon fill.