Qualcomm reveals “large customer’s flagship” won’t use Snapdragon 810, all signs point to Samsung

by: Andrew GrushJanuary 28, 2015
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Qualcomm MWC 2013 -  6

A week ago, to the date, we first caught wind of a report from Bloomberg claiming that Samsung would be relying on its own Exynos processors for the Galaxy S6, with the biggest reason being that Samsung had reportedly ran into overheating issues while testing out the Snapdragon 810. Now Qualcomm has seemingly confirmed that this is more than just a rumor.

While Qualcomm didn’t directly say Samsung isn’t using the Snapdragon 810 in its next-gen flagship, they did reveal that they are adjusting revenue expectations for the second half of the year due to the fact that a “large customer” has elected not to use Qualcomm’s latest chip in their flagship device. Putting two and two together, it seems more than likely that Samsung is the large company that Qualcomm references, as few other OEMs are big enough to make Qualcomm completely readjust their revenue expectations.

Samsung is one of the Qualcomm’s biggest customers and so losing them for the GS6 is a massive blow.

So does this mean that all Samsung Galaxy S6 devices will use Exynos processors? Not necessarily, it is still possible a small number could utilize Qualcomm chips — 810 or even older chips like 805. That said, it seems like a safe bet that, at the very least, that the majority of Galaxy S6 variants will ship with Exynos processors this time around. This is a pretty big change for Samsung, who has used Exynos chips in select variants of its flagships for years but has never rolled them out in markets like the United States.

As for Qualcomm, Samsung is one of the chip maker’s biggest customers and so losing them is a massive blow for the generally most popular mobile chipset maker in the world. Of course, Qualcomm still has plenty of partners that are lining up to use the Snapdragon 810, including LG who has already utilized the chip in their LG G Flex 2. What do you think, are you okay with the idea of a Galaxy S6 without a Snapdragon inside? For those that were considering buying the GS6, will Samsung’s decision to (more than likely) go all-Exynos at all cause you to consider another device instead?

  • Kyle Ong

    If the overheating is a real issue, Samsung adopting Exynos is a logical move. Samsung would not want to add another line of feedback that the flagship had certain issue. As GPU often ties with the processor, it will not b a Adreno. It might b also safe to says the unibody could b a reason for overheat unless LG refuse to acknowledge. Unless a superuser (game demands, high multi window…), the processor change could not be felt.

    • wat

      Benchmarks show the Exynos is superior on single core and multicore too, and it will be 14nm for better efficiency when Qualcomm is on 20nm still. Samsung only ever used Qualcomm because of the integrated modem anyway, but they were meant to be building their own for Exynos so they never had to use an external company for anything.

      • daxecutioner

        Benchmarks really don’t mean much.. It’s not a computer , it will never nearly handle all that power. Besides Android is so fragmented that apps are usually never optimized for a particular phone in which 3-5% of people own.. Especially gaming.. Nonetheless the quad core always performed more than decently enough against the exynos

        • kg2105

          lol exaggerate much? Snapdragon and Exynos are the only real SoCs for smartphones. Nvidia did hang around until the tegra 3, but the tegra 4 was too hot/unreliable for smartphones and they are now sticking to tablets/cars.

          Yes if you count all the cheap/generic smartphones there are some more SoC types but the big sellers (Galaxy S/Note series, HTC One series, LG G series, Nexus 6, etc.) are not 3-5%, they are the majority of Android phones. And benchmarks do have a point, they show the performance difference between phones as well as between generations of phones. Snapdragons have performed well enough or beat the Exynos, that doesn’t mean “oh let’s just ignore benchmarks.”

          • Jesus

            What about the lame one, i.e. media tek lol

          • joker

            how about Intel Atom processor? you forgot about it, didn’t you? lol

        • wat

          There is no other way to test phones before they’re launched… and the correlation between benchmark and real world performance is near 1:1 so I think it is safe to say it means something.

        • Martin Lane

          “Not a computer”

        • afra

          It’s not a computer , it will never
          nearly handle all that power. Besides Android is so fragmented

          fragmented :)))))))) it’s not computer !? OMG i can’t even believe u said such a un aware phrase !

      • Anonymousfella

        Yeah it is better but Samsung stopped releasing the binaries for their processors, so no or very few custom ROMs…and the ones which come out have lots of bugs (most of them in camera app)

      • Ivan Budiutama

        New Exynos is 14 nm? where did you hear that (no not a sarcasm, I really want to know). I know the next Intel would be 14nm too but it won’t be until Q2 right?

    • Xavier_NYC

      Good point. Also I think the reason LG is saying there’s no overheating in the G Flex 2 is because they under clock their chips. My G2 use to get super hot for no reason.

    • daxecutioner

      Samsung just wants to completely controlled their phones.. Locked up everything, including modding.. I certainly can’t live with a “stock” phone, so if it’s exynos o definitely won’t be buying Samsung in the near future. I think it’s just because of the quote on quote “Failure” of the s5,now Samsung wants to do something drastic.. Since they got very very lazy after the S3

  • lemawe

    Absolutely Ok with it. Qualcomm became too lazy

    • wat

      They are too arrogant. Like when they said 64 bit and 8 core are 100% pointless… then deliver 64 bit 8 core CPUs a year later LOL

      • lemawe

        Agree, it was even 2 years later than Apple.

      • daxecutioner

        Funny enough it is still “pointless” in terms of 8 cores.. Usually the quad-core preformed very similarly to the 8..is just technology doesn’t stay stagnet.. 64 bit will always be behind Apple. Android is so fragmented.

      • micah Owensby

        Write up on 810 on my new blog. Website coming soon. Help spread the word please!!

        https://androidos4u.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/snapdragon-810-the-facts/

    • daxecutioner

      Same could be said about Samsung.. Basically after the S3, it was nothing new. The waterproof I would say was the only positive

  • Dominic Giordano

    The last breakthrough chip Qualcomm had was the 800 that was revealed over 2 years ago. Disappointing the 810 is having these problems.

  • Dominic Giordano

    I wonder why it is affecting just Samsung the G flex 2 has the 810?

    • Phil

      I believe it is affecting the LG 2, they are just in denail because their phones about to be released soon.

  • Exynos are a better bet for those of us that like an unlocked boot loader. Much easier to hack than Qualcomm.

    • Charles7

      Really? I thought it was just the opposite, Exynos = no custom ROMs. . . though I haven’t looked into it that much myself.

      • Midimench

        My Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro has an exynos cup and made for an easy root and unlocked boot loader. But then again, it’s WiFi only and wasn’t locked by a phone carrier like Verizon, so maybe Qualcomm isn’t the culprit here.

        • Charles7

          How about custom ROMs? That’s what I’ve heard don’t exist for Exynos devices.

          And don’t Samsung tablets, non-carrier ones, have an unlocked boot loader?

          • daxecutioner

            Yea no devs wants to work with exynos.. The knox/efuse nonsense was just the tip of the iceberg.. Samsung wants to lock everything down.

    • Paco Inurreta

      Nope, Exynos is a nightmare to code.

    • Marc Perrusquia

      Samsung doesn’t release exynos source code most of the time.

  • Anthony Jones

    I’m OK okay with Samsung staying in house… hopefully this will make the phones cheaper

    • daxecutioner

      Always premium.. If anything they will just profit more.. That’s probably their thinking.

    • JLV90

      Lol they are already making less money than they want to, they won’t be making their flagships cheaper. Maybe low end phones to sell more but definitely not their flagships.

  • Charles7

    We need more SoC and modem LTE competition. . .. Qualcomm has been overly dominating the past few years.

    • daxecutioner

      Samsung shouldn’t be the front runner…

  • Phil

    I hope Sony follows suit and finds an alternative for the Z4, the 801 in my Z3 gets hot enough after 30 mins of Dead Trigger 2. Please Sony don’t use the 810!

  • Omegaclawe

    Why on earth would putting in a superior chip drive me away?

    • Marc Perrusquia

      Exynos is not superior.

      • deltatux

        Nor is the Snapdragon, Intel’s Atom processor beats it in spades.

      • SaRPeR

        Samsung devices with Exynos CPUs was always better than Snapdragon counterparts.

        • Marc Perrusquia

          They’re unstable and are not developer friendly. Their GPU’s tend to be weaker as well.

    • daxecutioner

      Not superior, just different.. And a hell lot more difficult to mod..

  • Mike Bastable

    It seems the problem is one of how well the phone design handles the heat generated by the processor..LG seems to have a setup that allows for a slightly higher temperature baseline.
    The new unibody design for the S6 seems to deal less well with these higher temperatures…thus the decision to move in house for the processor.
    Now we enter problem territory for Android…some apps will only work with Qualcomm chips , the upshot is even more fragmentation on the Android platform…not a good idea when Apple is rising again.
    Another problem for Samsung, another opportunity for their competitors. LG is pretty adamant that they have no major issues, confident enough to sue if the processor is changed..suggesting again design issues with the S6. To be expected really since the new S6 is basically version 1 Samsung 2.0.

    • The-Sailor-Man

      Who told you that S6 will be with sealed unibody design??? If you read it from the tech media, you are naive.

      • Mike Bastable

        did i say sealed? i dont think it will be sealed, though there will be a large metal component, i think the term unibody was misleading. i just think that the new design language needed is giving Samsung more problems than anticipated and this added with a chipset that may be prone to some small heat issues has forced Samsung to develop the S6 with an internal chip set they are familiar with. I actually expect the S6 to launch with a Samsung processor but to revised later in the year for the qualcomm processor…

  • daxecutioner

    Doesn’t really concern me. Have the S5, will keep for at least 2 years and see what’s actually “new” .. Not a gimmick

  • Karly Johnston

    With Samesung mobile at record losses, switching Western smartphones off name brand Qualcomn will be the final nail in the coffin shared by Blackberry.

    • JLV90

      Nah people will still buy Samsung devices, people like what’s familiar. Nothing is going to change overnight. It will be a steady decay if any at all. LG Motorola and HTC need to do something with their marketing if they want to cut into Samsung and Apples share.

      • Karly Johnston

        Samesung already lost Asia dominance, can’t even hold half of Korea. The West is the only place it makes money now and losing Snapdragon for Exynos on the box will kill it. People that buy Android are spec driven and they know American Qualcomm for years, the Exynos with Mali GPU gets scoffed at just like Mediatek even if it is better.

        • Cole Raney

          Most consumers dont know what SoC is in their device. This will have no affect on tgeir sales, although might help their profit.

          • Karly Johnston

            That is true of the 80% of Android users on cheap devices, the 20% that buy flagships… far higher percent know basic specs.

          • Cole Raney

            I don’t know if I believe that. After working for a little bit in a store that sells phones, I didn’t see this. Most people got a Galaxy S5 just knew it was the latest from Samsung, and that is why they wanted it.

          • Karly Johnston

            considering the GS5 sold diddly squat i don’t see that. LG G3 sold as much because people looked at specs, QHD, 3GB RAM and so on, not to mention it was a far more attractive device. the only name brand that calls the masses is Apple, Android users have no such loyalty.

          • Cole Raney

            The Galaxy s5 sold few models compared to expectations. It still sold quite a lpt compared to every other flagship phone besides the iPhone. In the US the s5 outsold the s4. Samsung’s main issue was China, who has had a surge in quality Chinese OEM phones.

        • kg2105

          Nope the majority of people don’t know what a Snapdragon or Exynos is. They just look at the big names, and buy it. The people that care about the hardware and really research thoroughly are a tiny minority, and they know the Exynos can hang with or beat the Snapdragon.

    • apolloa

      Totally true, here in the UK the Snapdragon SOC is advertised on mainstream television. You don’t see Samsung advertising the Exynos brand on TV. So people do know what Snapdragon is.

  • The-Sailor-Man

    Well usually the tech media ALWAYS rely on their Guru iAnand. Now Anandtech confirmed the overheating issue, but no one tech media mention it.
    Now they doubt it. LOL
    It sounds more bashing if they say that Samsung is ditching Qualcomm for some other “bad” reason.
    Well Samsung asked Qualcomm to fix the issue, and they said that they will fix it. So later Samsung could use them.
    But there is another story. LG(another great Korean company) made already phone with 810, and made own fix on that to minimise the issue.
    LG said that will sue Qualcomm if they make special fix for Samsung. That’s why Samsung gave up.
    Why should your readers learn the right news from me? But you – just bashing Samsung with dirty hints?

  • Rushan

    At least Samsung has a backup and they proved that they are is not relying on anything other than consumers.

  • nonotz

    after snapdragon 800 , Qualcomm became lazy ….

    • Martin Lane

      After Snapdragon 600 they became lazy, I haven’t really noticed much difference between 600/800/801/805

      The only time I’ve really noticed a performance jump lately is when playing with nvidia’s K1.

  • Martin Kaiser

    Xiaomi does not have overheating issues nor does LG have it. Sony is rumoured to use the 810 in Z4, no overheating reports yet. It points to very bad thermal design of the S6. Shame on you Samsung.

    • SaRPeR

      How dou you know Mi Note Pro and G Flex 2 does not heat ? They aren’t even released yet.

      • Martin Kaiser

        Nor is S6.

  • crutchcorn

    Yeah, sorry Qualcomm but… This isn’t anything too bad as your laziness…

  • micah Owensby

    Did a write up on the SD 810. New blog. Website coming soon. Give it a read and tell your friends.

    https://androidos4u.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/snapdragon-810-the-facts/

    • pseudo

      No offense but having the same comment twice does you no favours

      • micah Owensby

        Two words. Blog traffic. I’m just starting out man. Cut me some slack. I’ve got a passion for android technology, and all I wanna do is share some knowledge.

    • You can improve a lot. You are just copy pasting facts.

      See this:

      http://sonictech101.blogspot.in/2015/01/snapdragon-2015-lineup-explained-does.html

      • micah Owensby

        Copy pasting facts? Lol ok, buddy :) I guess no two blogs can do the same write ups.

  • McLaren F1P1

    Nothing changed for me as the international model of their products always had exynos in them and that’s why I was never interested! From Snapdragon 800, Android experience is super smooth and lag free, save for Samsung and TouchWiz of course which will even lag on an Intel i7! It’s only GPU performance which can still be improved and Adreno 430 gonna blow the one coupled with Exynos!

  • Vivek

    My BAD!!..
    The main reason Samsung Galaxy S5 Flopped in INDIA was due to the fact that they were offering Exynos chips instead of Snapdragon.
    Within a month the price of Samsung was reduced from Rs 52000($850) to Rs 33000($550).The demand was so less.
    I agree the phone looked crappy as well.

  • David Tchulukhadze

    I think everyone realize problem with Qualcomm. Big issue for Samsung, if they gone use Qualqomm 810 processors on their devices. Samsung already got problems with design and I don’t think they will take a risk using problematic chips (especially after terrible year).
    Personally for me is absolutely ok if they use there own Exynos chips on new GS6

  • Sujay Hegde

    SG6 should use snapdragon 810 is what i feel

  • Ismail

    Samsung will use their own Exynos processors which are either equal or better than the snapdragon 805 and 810.
    HTC, LG, SONY will be stuck with the 805 while the Galaxy s6 will have better performance and much better power efficiency.

    • LG is already using 810 in the Flex 2. Why do you think they will use 805 in the upcoming mainstream flagship G4? This article seems to say otherwise: http://www.androidauthority.com/lg-g-flex-2-g4-snapdragon-810-583470/

      “it had ran into some issues with its “initial batch” of chips. However, LG and Qualcomm have since dealt with the issues and all is on schedule both for the release of the LG G Flex 2 and the future release of the LG G4”

  • Martin Lane

    Samsung have probably made the right choice, I recall reading about this before and it was due to Snapdragon 810 heat issues which Qualcomm have yet to resolve.

    So long as the Exynos in the Galaxy S6 is a step up from what’s in the Note 4 performance should be fine, otherwise it’s going to look very poor in benchmarks.

  • afra

    this is red alarm for Qaulcomm when they become lazy , there was no 805 actually and supposed to be 810 on note 4 . they keep buy time to solve their problems … qualcomm should learn big lesson here . exynos is great enough , dare samsung to do such a thing .

    Sure 810 is great SOC but …..
    Sespite qualcomm is overall better in all aspect gathering all … qualcomm i guess u get your lesson . bring powerful chip or you will fall just like 3 years ago !

  • Rick_Deckard

    Which means that 810 snapdragon didn’t pass the Samsung tests….