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Galaxy S25 Ultra might cost more and Samsung isn't to blame

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra AM AH 09 jpg.webp

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The next generation of Android flagships, including Samsung’s Galaxy S25 Ultra, may cost more than their predecessors. Not because of inflation or economic conditions, but a price hike from Qualcomm. The chipmaker reportedly plans to charge about 30% more for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4. Android manufacturers may find it difficult to absorb the elevated cost and may pass it on to consumers.

The Galaxy S25 Ultra and other 2025 Snapdragon flagships may cost more

Last month, a noted industry insider claimed that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 may see a significant price increase due to a higher wafer cost. Reputed TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has now shed more light on what’s going on behind the scenes. According to Kuo, a process node upgrade will add to the manufacturing cost of the next-gen Snapdragon flagship, forcing Qualcomm to increase its price.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 (codename SM8650) used in Samsung’s Galaxy S24 series, OnePlus 12, Xiaomi 14, and many other Android flagships this year is fabricated on TSMC’s 4nm process node. Its successor, i.e., Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 (SM8750), upgrades to the more expensive 3nm (N3E) node. It’s the same process used for Apple’s A18 Pro chip for the iPhone 16 series and comes with cutting-edge technologies.

Kuo says this shift will increase the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4’s cost by 25-30% compared to the Gen 3. The latter is reportedly priced around $190–200, so the next-gen solution could cost as much as $260. If reports are true, Qualcomm increased the price of its current flagship chipset by a similar margin. Device makers may be unable to absorb the added cost for two consecutive years, increasing the prices of next-gen Android flagships.

This isn’t a given, though. Manufacturers could be exploring other ways to reduce the overall cost of materials. Some firms may also have room to cut their profit margin without severely impacting their finances. However, don’t be surprised if flagship Android phones cost more in 2025. Companies may try to justify the hike with improved AI processing capabilities brought by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4’s more powerful NPU.

The new Snapdragon arrives later this year

Qualcomm recently confirmed that the next Snapdragon Summit will take place between October 21-23 in Maui, Hawaii. The company will unveil the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 at this event. The chip will enter mass production in the second half of the year and start shipping inside Android flagships from Samsung, Xiaomi, OnePlus, and other firms after the Snapdragon Summit. Samsung’s Galaxy S25 series will debut in early 2025.

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