With Nvidia announcing a compete smartphone platform and nipping at the market leader's metaphorical heels, Qualcomm isn't intent on slowing down for a minute. Earlier today benchmarks for the next generation of Snapdragon processor were released, and now the networking architecture to match has been unveiled. Qualcomm's Gobi framework, intended to match the Snapdragon system on a chip hardware spec, should be coming to phones and tablets later this year.
Gobi 5 will have support for the standard GSM, HSPDA+ and CDMA networks, plus LTE, TD-SCDMA, and TD-LTE. If that's not enough alphabet soup for you, it''l also include a GPS module. All are intended to allow for faster and more efficient operation. Compatibility with Android and other ARM-based operating systems will sit right next to x86 capabilities, for tablets running Windows 8 or Linux derivatives. Since Apple uses Gobi in its Verizon hardware, it's likely that they'll upgrade along with everyone else.
What does this mean for end-users of Android? Not much - Qualcomm leads production of SoC and network chips, so the upgrades above are status quo. But with more and more competition form the likes of Nvidia, Samsung and Marvell, not to mention Intel's entrance into mobile hardware, the supply side of Android is about to get much more complicated. Developers in particular will have more and more processor, graphics and network platforms to contend with.