Report: Qualcomm partners with Asus to develop a gaming smartphone

Report: Qualcomm partners with Asus to launch a gaming smartphone.
Image: Qualcomm

Qualcomm and Asus are working together on a new premium gaming smartphone project, reports XDA Developers. The American chipmaker will handle the venture’s software integration while the Taiwanese manufacturer will manage its design and production requirements.

The two corporations plan on launching the unnamed handset/mobile gaming console, which would feature Qualcomm’s branding, later this year.

Qualcomm and Asus Gaming Smartphone Project

The core appeal of the Qualcomm-Asus gaming smartphone product is its superior technical specifications.

The firms intend to build the device around the Snapdragon 875 chipset. According to Android Authority, the semiconductor company will introduce the world to its latest mobile platform during its upcoming December 1-2 Tech Summit event. Presumably, the corporation will also unveil its first phone at the same presentation.

If Qualcomm does take that step, it will represent a break from its traditional flagship product rollout strategy. Typically, the company debuts its new premier chipsets in December to whet the public’s appetite. Then, the next year, consumers can try out the processor by buying one of several premium third-party smartphones.

The Qualcomm-Asus partnership could shake things up by introducing consumers to the chipset and a new handset simultaneously.

The reported arrangement also calls for the two tech firms to share electronic components. Qualcomm and Asus will split the costs of panels, memory chips, batteries, cooling elements, and camera modules for 1 million new devices. Asus will use half of those parts to make 500,000 Qualcomm gaming handsets and 500,000 new ROG smartphones.

The chipmaker’s inaugural mobile device will reportedly go on sale next year.

Why Qualcomm Wants to Release a Gaming Handset

On face value, Qualcomm’s interest in releasing a dedicated mobile gaming console seems a bit strange.

For one thing, it is a fabless semiconductor company that specializes in making high-performance components for third-party firms. While tech enthusiasts know and admire its chipsets, it is not an original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Though admirably bold, Qualcomm’s pivot into a new business model might not well be received by consumers.

In the past, Sony and Amazon have tried their hands at making mobile hardware to underwhelming results.

But on the other hand, Qualcomm did not become a multibillion-dollar corporation because it ignored market realities.

The corporation is aware that Apple is developing its own silicon to control its production and supply lines. It also knows Samsung and Huawei attained leading positions in the wireless sector in part by designing their phone processors.

Qualcomm could be making a mobile gaming device to show the world it can succeed in the same area as its biggest customers. That sort of maneuver could put it in a favorable position when it comes time to renegotiate its supply agreements.

If the chipmaker’s experiment works, it might even evolve into a full-fledged OEM. That scenario is somewhat unlikely, but then again, so was Apple’s decision to become a phone maker.


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