Samsung has historically used both Qualcomm’s Snapdragon and the in-house Exynos chips in its flagship phones over the years. That’s also true for the company’s Galaxy S22 series which is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip in markets like the US, while many of the units destined for other markets like Europe got Exynos 2200. India got a Snapdragon chip in the Samsung Galaxy S22 series for the first time, and it looks like future Galaxy S series flagships will carry a Snapdragon chip in more regions as the company is strengthening its partnership with Qualcomm. The collaboration between companies involves widening the usage of “Snapdragon platforms for future premium Samsung Galaxy products, including smartphones, PCs, tablets, extended reality, and more.”
Qualcomm’s press release for the media doesn’t explicitly mention the Galaxy S23 flagship or the regions in which it’ll carry the Snapdragon chip, but the company’s CEO Cristiano Amon made it quite clear during the earnings call that more regions will see Snapdragon-powered Galaxy flagship products — specifically S23 and beyond — as a result of this multiyear agreement.
A multi-year agreement to power more Galaxy flagships globally
Qualcomm head Amon shared additional info to add more clarity to the matter. Here’s a transcript of the statement shared by the Qualcomm head while addressing some questions during the earnings call:
Michael, thank you for the question. Yes. Look, it’s — besides the record in auto and IoT revenues, the Samsung agreement is probably my favorite thing in the quarter. And here’s the way I would describe the growth opportunity for the chipset business.
We would average over the many years of this relationship, if you remember, about 40% share versus their in-house solution with the Galaxy S22, which was prior to signing this agreement. Our share climb up to about 75%. And now we’re announcing a multiyear agreement to power the Samsung Galaxy smartphones globally.
So very excited about that. It provides incredible stability for our mobile business. I cannot think of anything better to validate our strategy to be focused on share of wallet in premium and high tier than this agreement.
So very, very exciting. I remember — I would like to remember you all that, that’s a very good trade. When I think about the silicon content of a Snapdragon 8 Series, at least equal or better than revenue and earnings of 5 modem for another OEM.
Now the second part of this multiyear agreement is the opportunity for growth tied up with our diversification. So it expands beyond Galaxy smartphones to include Galaxy books, Windows PCs, Galaxy tablets, future extended reality devices and other devices. So a very significant agreement, very excited and really the companies are much closer together.
Samsung isn’t giving up Exynos though
The fact that Samsung splits the shipments of its flagship devices across two different chipset doesn’t sit well the consumers. That’s because there’s often a clear difference in performance between Snapdragon and the Exynos-powered variants of the same phone. We ended up testing the Galaxy S22 Ultra powered by both chipsets, only to find out that the Snapdragon Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is way better than the Exynos. The new partnership between the two companies may result in the arrival of Snapdragon-powered Galaxy flagships in more regions, but it doesn’t gurantee it for all buyers in every market.
This could mean the company will continue to plant its in-house chips inside its flagship phones in select markets. A better — perhaps a long term plan — would be lay low for sometime and come back stronger with better chipsets. If anything, this “multiyear” partnership gives more time to invest and make meaningful improvements to its SoC. The company can also leverage its recent partnership with AMD to produce morre powerful mobile GPUs. The idea of seeing more Qualcomm-powered Galaxy flagships is sure to put a smile on many faces, but it’ll be interesting to see the in-house chip making a comeback with in the future with more raw power and features.
Featured image: Samsung Galaxy S22
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