Qualcomm may have inked exclusive deal to put Snapdragon 820 in Samsung hardware

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Last year, Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge won accolades and set performance records,

thanks to their use of cutting-edge 14nm process technology and Samsung’s own

Exynos 7420 SoC. This was a significant blow to Qualcomm’s business, since that

company has often provided both the SoC and modem for many of Samsung’s flagship designs.

With Samsung using its own silicon and modem for the Galaxy S6, it was an open question

whether Qualcomm could win back the Korean company’s flagship business. Now,

rumors are indicating it did, thanks to an exclusivity offer that would put Qualcomm’s

Snapdragon 820 in Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy hardware (likely the Galaxy S7) until at

least April of 2016.

 

This is theoretically a win/win for both companies — Qualcomm re-establishes a lock

on the premiere Android flagship of the year, and Samsung gets access to a newer,

higher-performing SoC. One critical question, however, is how much consumers care

about such partnerships. I suspect on the whole, they don’t. While there are obviously

phone owners who care about benchmarks and device performance, the majority of readers

are primarily focused on battery life and other phone features.

Power consumption in “real life” workloads.

The top complaints about the Galaxy S6 revolve around its battery life, its lack of a

user-swappable battery, and its microSD slot, with overall pricing earning an honorable

mention. The plural of anecdote isn’t “data,” but a number of our readers claimed to be

unhappy with the S6 and S6 Edge due to these issues. Device sales, meanwhile,

were anything but great this year. The Galaxy S5 sold worse than the S4, and the Galaxy S6

sold below the S5, despite a new form factor and metal construction.

This improved, somewhat, once Samsung cut the price on the S6, but the company’s most

recent earnings release noted that increased sales in Q3 2015 were offset by decreased

profits on the S6. Operating profit in the mobile division fell $306 million as a result,

even though total sales increased by 2%.

 

Samsung continues to face competition at the low end from upcoming manufacturers like

Xiaomi and Huawei, and from Apple and the iPhone at the top of the market.

Inking a deal for Qualcomm exclusivity could give its products a performance boost this

spring, since the performance and capabilities of the Snapdragon 820 are reputed to be

excellent, but many of the features consumers care about won’t be determined by Geekbench

scores or graphics performance.

This, in turn, strikes at the underlying problem facing the entire mobile market.

Smartphones have hit the point of “good enough” for the majority of people, which makes

simply iterating hardware over and over a losing proposition. With rumors spreading that

even Apple may be facing its first quarter of reduced iPhone sales, companies may be

facing a hard sell to pull in buyers who are still happy with 1-2 year-old devices.

 

Source: http://www.extremetech.com/mobile/219791-qualcomm-may-have-inked-exclusive-deal-to-put-snapdragon-820-in-samsung-hardware