Premium segment not under pressure from pandemic, demand actually going up: Qualcomm

Cristiano Amon, President of Qualcomm Incorporated asserted that if there was any positive from the pandemic it is that there has been much higher traction in premium features.

The demand for premium devices is still there despite the Covid-19 pandemic and was in some ways going up, Qualcomm senior executives said on the sidelines of the Snapdragon Tech Summit. Qualcomm, the leading mobile chipmaker, announced its latest Snapdragon 888 aimed at premium smartphones at the virtual summit.

Alex Katouzian, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mobile, Compute and Infrastructure at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc told that geographical locations are actually “looking for the next premium tier solution.” “There are a lot of areas where subsidies on phones still exist and people actually tend towards the premium tier of the market,” he said, adding that the popularity of the premium tier is strong in markets like the US, in the EU and most parts of Asia including India.

“We don’t see any deterioration of that (demand for premium phones). I don’ think there’s going to be any pressure on the premium tier. In fact, I think the demand has gone up,” Katouzian said.

Katouzian, who has over three decades of experience in the semiconductor industry, said the reuse of last year’s premium tier is becoming more popular in the high tier. “I think more and more people will upgrade in their cycle as soon as they’re done being in one-tier. So if you are in the higher tier, the next phone you are looking for is the premium tier; if you are in mid-tier you are going to look for high tier,” he explained.

The functionality, Katouzian said, seems to trickle down into lower tiers at a much faster rate than we were used to. “In anywhere between three to nine months, you are going to get premium tier functions scaled-down all the way into the 400 tier of our product line. So we see growing functionality and growing needs for that functionality in all of our tiers,” he said, reiterating that Qualcomm did not see any pressure on the premium tier.

Cristiano Amon, President of Qualcomm Incorporated, added that if there was any positive from the pandemic it is that there has been “much higher traction in premium features and capabilities whether it’s for entertainment, for productivity, for a higher quality camera, or mobile payments…” Amon added: “So in general overall across all markets we have seen an increased demand towards premium devices.”

Snapdragon 888, with the 3rd generation Qualcomm Snapdragon X60 5G Modem-RF System, enables global compatibility for 5G smartphones by offering mmWave and sub-6 across all major bands worldwide. It will also enable global multi-SIM in 5G for the first time. The processor also pushes up the camera and AI capabilities of top-end Android smartphones.