JPMorgan: Galaxy S4 expected to come with Exynos 5 Octa in Europe, Snapdragon 600 in the U.S.

by: Bogdan PetrovanFebruary 27, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Logo aa - 600px

The Galaxy S4 will be introduced to the world in just over two weeks, and just like last year, we still don’t have a clear idea of what Samsung is cooking up. But, as the New York Samsung Unpacked event approaches, more and more details are bound to leak.

The latest snippet of info comes from a Taiwan-based analyst of the JPMorgan brokerage firm. In a note to clients concerning TSMC (the chip foundry that manufactures Qualcomm’s chipsets), Rick Hsu says that the he expects Samsung to offer at least two distinct versions of the Galaxy S4. One version will be equipped with the Samsung-made Exynos 5 Octa processor and will be made available in the European markets. The other version, bound for North America, will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor.

Bear in mind that the investors note, quoted by the Taipei Times, does not mention the sources on which JPMorgan bases its predictions. In order words, the note is an expectation, rather than a statement based on hard facts. Still, JPMorgan is a very reputable firm, so I do believe that their analysis was fundamentally sound.

Samsung adopted the multiple versions strategy for last year’s Samsung Galaxy S3, so it’s very possible for the Korean manufacturer to continue on the same path.

However, there are a few issues here. First, several previous reports have indicated that Samsung has given up on its plans to use the Exynos 5 Octa on the Galaxy S4, due to technical difficulties. The latest has been supplied by Sam Mobile just this weekend.

Moreover, why would Samsung choose to have a different version in Europe? LTE is expected to boom in Europe in 2013, with carrier rollouts in most countries on the continent. That means Samsung needs to offer LTE for the European versions of the Galaxy S4, to capitalize on the growth of the new standard. But this year, Samsung doesn’t need a Qualcomm SoC to offer LTE; the living proof is the Galaxy Note 2, which has LTE and an Exynos system on a chip.

I believe therefore that the existence of the two versions is not due to the LTE compatibility issues, like it happened last year. More likely, Samsung is having yield issues with the Exynos 5 Octa, and is simply not capable of making enough chips to satiate the demand (remember that this phone is supposedly expected to sell 100 million units). So, the Koreans signed up their competitor Qualcomm to alleviate the load. But that’s just my theory.

We’ll likely learn more in the following days, or, worst case, on March 14. Stay tuned.

  • Filip Justin

    All I care is that Exynos 5 Octa.. I really don’t care about 4G.. It’s a gimmick, just like Vodafone said..

    • 4G LTE is not a gimmick. The performance was huge difference in speed compare with H+

      • Filip Justin

        Oh, yeah it is.. it is an overpriced feature that feasts on the device battery and brings Internet speeds that only tekkies can notice..

        • Prox

          I concur with this statement.

          • Filip Justin

            Okay, concur.. just bring me reasons to update my plan to LTE in Romania..

          • Prox

            Concur means to agree with, I think you misunderstood my message.

          • Filip Justin

            Yeah, sorry.. i wasn’t paying attention..

        • Andrew Tan

          Not everywhere is over price for LTE.

          My country Malaysia and neighbor Singapore where LTE and 3G is same cost price. No price increase if using LTE or not.

      • Kameron Bourgeois

        I’m on T-Mobile and on my s3 I get on average 24mbps while my friends on Verizon only get like 8mbps HSPA+ Is less crowded

    • Widowmaker

      I used the international GS2 and thought it was great until I upgraded to a north american GS3. The LTE really does make a difference. If used in an adequately covered area, I get speeds several times that of wifi n. I am in the greater Toronto area. Downloading large files become much faster especially for power users. If you start syncing photos to dropbox, using FTP clients, ROM OTA updates etc. then it’ll make a world of difference. If you aren’t power using your GS4 when it comes out, then it might not be the best phone for you. If I lived in hicktown nowhere, I would indeed prefer the cores.

  • I think it will probably be March 14 before we know the truth. Samsung did a great job of keeping us in the dark last year, while spinning the hype machine of S3 rumours to maximum revs. They’re probably doing the same this year.

  • brendan soliwoda

    I doubt samsung will use the Snapdragon 600 here in the states. If they used the exynos quad for the note II, I can them either using the Eyxnos Octa or the 5440 Exynos quad for the U.S. version of the S4

  • If they put the Octa in one model and not the American model I guarantee that they willsell tterribly in North America & ppl will opt for the amazing HTC ONE, I know I would. Samsung’s going to have to bring something incredible to beat the HTC ONE, I mean it’s a true gem & I’m a Samsung guy. – KID ANDROID

    • Filip Justin

      As far as I have learned from americans.. They won’t even care.. It only matters to us, tekkies..

      • That’s true.. I guess normal consumers don’t care at all what SOC is in there. Only if some American will meet his friend from Europe and see that his battery lasts a lot longer than on U.S Galaxy S4, he/she would definitely be puzzled! ;D

        • JGaLaXY

          as an American I would probably be a little mad if Europe got the Octa and we got the snapdragon 600, I would need at least the 800 or I would go for the HTC ONE, until I see the features of the S4, the 14th cant come soon enough

  • alex3run

    But why samsung is going to use slow snapdragon 600 instead of snapdragon 800, which is comparatible to exynos 5 octa?

    • Because Qualcomm’s Snappy 800 is not ready for some time yet..

    • Bone

      We don’t even know where the Exynos 5 ranks or the 800 that matter. Considering the benchmarks the SD600/A320 combo may very well outperform the Octa.

  • Bone

    If this is true then there will be major SW and performance inconsistencies.

  • It’s very sad, but I honestly believe that to have the Galaxy S4 launch before the summer, they will opt for a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 SoC. Not that there’s anything wrong with that chip, but what would separate the flagship Galaxy S4 from every other high end phone? Part of what makes the Galaxy S line stand out is Samsung’s in house technologies. I just bought the Note 2 yesterday, and I’m happy. I’ll wait for the Note 3. Hopefully Samsung uses the Snapdragon 800 chip, and the rumors about them transitioning to LCD screens are untrue.

  • Widowmaker

    Octa cores technically is 8 cores, but actually only 4 of those cores can be used at any one time. It’s not what most people think. This chip is focused on minimizing power consumption rather than absolute top of the line brute force. I’m not saying it’s not fast, it’s just not the same as what people think it to be. Cores != absolute performance

    • Justin Winker

      Technically, this is not true… The big.LITTLE architecture contains two separate quad cores, and only one of them is in use at a time. A true octacore would have 8 active cores that could run all at once. Therefore, the big.LITTLE architecture is more of a waste, I feel.

      • AStarbucks

        @Widowmaker, @ Justin Winker,

        Both wrong. There are 4 x A15 and 4 x A7 cores. So when you read the benchmark tests that BLOW EVERYTHING ELSE out of the water, it is the “big” A15 CPU cores doing the brute force heavy lifting.

        Since most people only play Fruit Ninja and watch videos, few will ever benefit from that. Its really the “LITTLE” A7 cores that everyone will benefit from. The S4’s A7 power sipping capabilities are not benchmarked yet via any battery tests. However, you can check out the Alcatel phone using Mediatek’s A7 cpus for an early preview of the incredible benefits that will flow from it.

        Instead of spreading ignorance, go read up on Anandtech’s first preview about the A7 architecture as long ago as 2011 for heaven’s sakes.

        • Justin Winker

          Pretty sure in my post it says “two separate quad cores, and only one of them is in use at a time,” which is exactly what you just described. Read the posts before you talk smack.

  • jay flores

    By the time the S4 is available for the US…the 800 will be ready and powering the S4

  • 4G is definitely not just a gimmick, at least not in Sweden. 3G goes up to a maximum of 16 Mbit here, while 4G goes all the way up to 80 Mbit, though admittedly, 4G at 40 Mbit is more common. Now, I understand that Sweden is very technologically forward and was first with 4G afaik, but there’s no way I would ever buy a new phone without 4G support here. I guess Vodafone likes to make these statements because they’re a little slow with applying new tech. Conclusion: Their statement sounds either like a PR trick, or they had a specific region in mind only.