Thursday, January 29, 2015

Samsung is probably ditching Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 for the Galaxy S6

Qualcomm confirms its new Snapdragon 810 won't be in a 'large customer's flagship device'


It sounds like the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6 won't use a Snapdragon processor in the US, as previous Galaxy devices have all done. Dominant mobile chipmaker Qualcomm revealed today that its new flagship Snapdragon 810 processor "will not be in the upcoming design cycle of a large customer's flagship device" and it therefore cut revenue expectations for the second half of the year in its most recent financial report. Qualcomm did not say which of its partners was electing to drop the processor, but earlier reports have said that Samsung was not planning to use the 810 in its upcoming Galaxy S6 due to thermal issues, and there just aren't that many phone makers large enough to require a company like Qualcomm to change its revenue guidance. LG has already announced that its G Flex 2 will use the 810, and HTC is expected to put the processor in its upcoming M9 flagship, due to be announced next month.



Samsung is Qualcomm's biggest customer and it sells more smartphones than any other company. Previous Galaxy S devices have used Samsung's own Exynos processor outside of the US, but US and LTE versions have used Snapdragon chips, due to patent and other issues. If Samsung's figured out how to ship any Exynos chip in the US and it is indeed the "large customer" that Qualcomm alludes to in its financial report, the blow could be significant. Though Samsung has seen falling smartphone sales in recent quarters, it is still far and away the biggest mover of flagship Android smartphones, many of which use Qualcomm processors.

The Snapdragon 810 is the latest in a line of high-powered Snapdragon processors from Qualcomm, and it is the first flagship chip from the company that supports 64-bit processing. It adds a number of performance improvements and enhanced multimedia featuress over Qualcomm's older chips, including new image and audio processing algorithms.

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