Qualcomm Warns of International Snapdragon Chip Shortage

Chip maker Qualcomm has announced that it can't meet demand for some of its mobile phone processors—which means that Android- and Windows-based phone manufacturers will have to seek an alternative in the coming months.

Specifically, it turns out that Qualcomm has underestimated how widely used its S4 Snapdragon chips would be, which means that the scheduled output of the factories which are producing the 28 nanometer chip will fall short of demand. The news emerged yesterday during a conference call in which the company reported its financial results to investors.

Qualcomm has explained that it will attempt to offer alternative chips to plug the gap, but it also expects competitors to step in and power some mid-range handsets. Steve Mollenkopf, Qualcomm's chief operating officer, explained to the BBC:

"In any constrained environment, people look for any alternative they can in order to solve the problem... We've been helping customers to see how they can swap in our Fusion 2 chipset... [but] we do expect to see some alternative non-Qualcomm chipsets used to solve that issue as well."

The knock-on effect is likely some small impact on the shipment of mass-market smartphones as firms have to re-engineer some aspects of their devices. [BBC]