It was in January this year when Qualcomm divulged that a major manufacturer had backed out of using their new Snapdragon 810 processors/chipsets, something that would negatively impact their bottom line for the quarter, if not the year. They did not name the company, but Samsung had made an announcement that they would be using their own Exynos processors for this year’s flagship, the Galaxy S6. It’s not that difficult to put two and two together.
Fast forward to current times, and Qualcomm has already seen a number of flagship level phones announce the use of the Snapdragon 810 chipset – the overheating issue that plagued it early in the year is nowhere in sight. But more interestingly, it turns out that the Samsung Galaxy S6 was a bigger loss for Qualcomm – Samsung may have used their own wireless modem chips for the flagship, in addition to using Exynos processing cores. It was originally expected that Samsung would still use Qualcomm modems.
Qualcomm of course prefers that manufacturers go to them for processor chips and wireless modems – the Snapdragon line of products is a full chipset that satisfies both needs. But in the case of Apple – who produces their own processors – Qualcomm supplies the wireless modems (3G and LTE, whatever the need may be). Chipworks, a consultancy that analyzes the chips used in mobile devices, interestingly discovered that the Samsung Galaxy S6 used an Exynos processor and a Samsung modem – totally bypassing Qualcomm this time.
Is this a statement of intent from Samsung? Be that as it may, Qualcomm – one of the fastest growing companies in tech last year due to the massive use of their Snapdragon 800 and 805 chipsets, as well as widespread use of Snapdragon 400 products – is still on course to have its Snapdragon 810 chipset on most flagship devices this year. We can only wait and see how this will adversely affect Qualcomm and Samsung, if ever.