When it comes to chips for mobile devices, many of the most popular smartphones in the Android realm use chips from Qualcomm. The Snapdragon line is the most common hardware on the market, running the gamut from entry-level up to high-end hardware. A new report is going around claims Google is abandoning Qualcomm modem chipset for its coming Pixel 6 smartphone.
Rather than cramming Qualcomm Snapdragon hardware under the hood of the Android smartphone, Google is reportedly embracing Samsung. According to the rumor, Google is looking to use the Samsung Exynos 5123 5G modem inside the Pixel 6. This marks a significant change for Google who has always used Qualcomm products in the past.
It also highlights that major tech companies in the US are looking to end their dependence on a Qualcomm for hardware inside their devices. The Exynos 5123 modem supports 6GHz and up to 256-QAM Millimeter Wave for both uplink and downlink. By making this change, assuming the rumors are true, the Pixel 6 will be the first device in the US that doesn’t use a Qualcomm modem.
Interestingly, Samsung has used its own Exynos hardware in its Galaxy line of smartphones outside the US but hasn’t used its own modem hardware stateside. Smartphone manufacturers in the States have relied on Qualcomm modems exclusively because there was no 5G modem technology on par available from other manufacturers.
That appears to be changing with the Exynos 5123. Whether or not this rumor is accurate remains to be seen. There has to be at least some possibility that Google is making this move not because it wants to but due in part to the global chip shortage. Certainly, it’s possible that since Samsung’s products are less popular, they are more readily available. It’s also worth noting that rumors have suggested so far the Pixel 6 will also use Samsung hardware for the display, camera, and processor. To be clear, the SoC itself was designed by Google but is built by Samsung.