The report comes from Electronics Times, a trusted Korean publication, via Reuters. Citing anonymous industry sources, Electronic Times reports that Samsung is once again going to use a mix of Qualcomm and Exynos SoCs for its flagship phone.
In the US and China, the world’s two largest markets, the Galaxy S7 will reportedly be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 SoC. In other markets, including in Europe and Asia, Samsung will use its own Exynos processor.
The report cites industry sources speculating that Qualcomm was able to secure Snapdragon 820 orders for the two most profitable markets by using its chip manufacturing orders as a negotiation argument. Put simply, Samsung gets lucrative chip foundry contracts from Qualcomm, and Qualcomm gets chip orders from Samsung.
Samsung and Qualcomm refused to comment the report, but the Korean giant stated that its “business and semiconductor business are totally separated, [so] supply agreement of AP and foundry business do not affect each other.”
Samsung famously snubbed Qualcomm for its flagships this year, opting for its own Exynos 7420 chip. The loss of a big client – and the Snapdragon 810 overheating PR disaster that followed – left Qualcomm bruised out. Samsung, on the other hand, avoided the overheating problems that plagued HTC, LG, or Sony, and bagged more profit thanks to the use of its own silicon.
According to older reports, Samsung may use an Exynos 8890 processor on the Galaxy S7 (and presumably S7 Edge) units sold outside of US and China.
As for the Galaxy S7 release date, rumor has it, Samsung may have something to show us in early February. Following the early release of the Galaxy Note 5, a faster release of the S7 does make a lot of sense.