We know the Snapdragon 835 processor is one of the best Android chipsets in the market right now but it’s costly as well as hard to mass produce in very large quantities. The chip is manufactured using an advanced 10nm FinFET process by Samsung, making the Korean giant the first in the industry to mass produce smartphone processors using this tech. The advantages of 10nm are pretty huge, but the mass production limitations do affect the supply of smartphones with this chip.
The popular analyst from China, Pan Jiutang revealed earlier today that Qualcomm had initially planned to release a slower version of Snapdragon 835 code named MSM8997. However, the current mass manufacturing limitations of the 10nm FinFET process forced the company to change plans and focus on Snapdragon 660 as its replacement.
This is probably why the Snapdragon 660 (inside the OPPO R11 and R11 Plus) became the first processor in the mid-range 600 series to get custom Kryo cores, which was initially exclusive to the top-end Snapdragon 800 series. Note that the octa-core Kryo 260 cores in the SD660 are a bit different than the Kryo 280 cores inside the SD835. But the fact that the SD660 uses custom cores does put it much closer to the top-end Snapdragon 800 series than its predecessors like SD653 or SD652. Further, the new SD660 chip features flagship grade ISP (Qualcomm Spectra 160 ISP) to ensure that you get the maximum performance out of your smartphone cameras.
Hence, it’s very likely that many affordable flagship smartphones of 2017 would end up with Snapdragon 660 and not Snapdragon 835.