Today is the third day of Qualcomm's Snapdragon Technology Summit, and it's all about Always-Connected PCs. The firm announced the Snapdragon 8cx, promising performance on par with an Intel Core i5. But for the first time, the new chipset won't actually be replacing its predecessor. When the 8cx begins to ship in the third quarter of next year, new devices with the Snapdragon 850 will continue to be released.
There's more than one reason for this. For one thing, Qualcomm wants to have multiple tiers of PC chipsets that it sells, much like Intel has had for decades. The Snapdragon 850 will sit in the mid-range, while the Snapdragon 8cx will be premium.
Another reason is the price. When the first Windows 10 on ARM PCs shipped, they were praised for battery life and connectivity, but the price seemed absurd. They mostly came with 128GB of storage and 4GB RAM, costing close to $1,000. An Intel PC at that price could come with a Core i5, and double the RAM and storage. Now that Qualcomm will have a higher end chipset in the Snapdragon 8cx, the 850 devices can be prices as they should be, around $500 or $600.
Ultimately, the news is that while the Snapdragon 8cx is coming, the Snapdragon 850 devices will keep on coming, but at a lower price point.