The Snapdragon drama continues to unfold, of course only in rumors and leaks so far. After rumors that Samsung would be ditching the Snapdragon 810 for its own Exynos chip because of overheating issues, and with LG refuting such problems, word now is that Qualcomm is already addressing the root of Samsung’s complaints. If such is the case, the only problem left is whether the fixed chips would make it in time for Samsung to use it on the Galaxy S6, which is expected to debut at MWC 2015 in March.
The Snapdragon 810 is expected to be 2015’s main mobile processor. The chip combines two relatively new technologies for Qualcomm, an octa-core configuration and a 64-bit architecture. Despite initial rumors of possible delays in availability, Qualcomm assured customers that the chips would ship on time. Now, however, there might be some reason to indeed delay the chips, depending on whose word you take.
Samsung is reported to be having overheating issues with the chip during tests with the upcoming Galaxy S6, which has led it to decide to switch to its own Exynos processors instead. That said, it is probably no secret that Samsung has been grooming its chips to eventually replace Snapdragon, at least on the high-end, developing features that would match Qualcomm’s list. Samsung, however, can’t completely shake off Qualcomm just yet, as the mobile chip maker still supplies a good number of low-power, low-cost chips for its mid and low end smartphones.
Of course, Samsung isn’t Qualcomm’s only customer, even for the Snapdragon 810. LG is using the same chip for its G Flex 2, which is retailing in Korea this week. LG refutes Samsung’s overheating claims, but is rather ambiguous about it. On the one hand, it says it didn’t have that same problem, but on the other hand, it also says that it has been able to address those issues, which sort of implies the issue does exist. LG does clarify that heat isn’t just a problem of the CPU alone but also goes to the entire design of the device. It says that its G Flex 2 has been designed with the Snapdragon 810 specifically in mind and has been built to keep things from getting too hot. Perhaps LG is implying that Samsung’s design for the Galaxy S6 isn’t as optimized.
Qualcomm hasn’t yet made any statement regarding the matter, and it probably won’t to save face, presuming such an issue does exist. But even if Samsung does end up with a different chip for the Galaxy S6, some analysts contend that the aftermath on Qualcomm’s business won’t be too severe. The loss of the Samsung deal could make Qualcomm lose 2 to 8 percent of its earnings per share, but Qualcomm is said to make more money from licensing its patents than outright sales of its processors.
SOURCE: Wall Street Journal