Skip to main content

Samsung notably missing from list of companies set to use the Snapdragon 888

Qualcomm has announced that its next-generation flagship mobile chipset will be the Snapdragon 888. Along with that, it revealed a series of partners that it’s working with to launch next-generation phones using the chipset. A number of expected names were among those partners, including the likes of LG, OnePlus, Motorola, Xiaomi, and Vivo. But one name that was strangely missing was Samsung. No company is going to skip the opportunity to mention the biggest name in Android, so there has to be a reason why Samsung wasn’t included.

It’s entirely possible that Samsung just didn’t want to announce that its next flagship phone, expected to be the Samsung Galaxy S21, will be powered by the Snapdragon 888. That’s a good reason for it to be missing from Qualcomm’s list, given the two companies’ long partnership together.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

That said, Qualcomm and Samsung do have a bit of a complicated history. Samsung has regularly launched phones in different countries with a mixture of Qualcomm and Exynos chips, and with the Galaxy S6, it even launched exclusively with Exynos. The results have been … mixed, to be frank, and the models with Qualcomm’s chip have generally been regarded as the superior devices.

Still, Samsung doesn’t seem to be giving up on the idea that it can move entirely to Exynos chips, and it’s possible that it will try again starting next year. This is a trend that has many examples — Apple is reducing its reliance on third parties by moving its Mac line to self-built ARM chips.

Other companies may also be reducing their reliance on Qualcomm. Earlier in the year, rumors popped up suggesting that Google and Samsung’s chip divisions were working together on a new chipset for future Pixel phones. In previous Pixel models, Google has used bespoke Pixel Visual Core and Pixel Neural Core chips, however, it did away with this in the Pixel 5. Theoretically, if it could build a chipset with the same technology built-in, it could make for better power efficiency.

It wouldn’t be very surprising if Samsung were to make such a move. Building its own chips would likely be cheaper than buying them from Qualcomm. But this only works if its performance, and other capabilities like 5G network support, can actually match (or beat) what the Snapdragon 888 offers.

We’ll have to see if Samsung not showing up on Qualcomm’s list of partners actually means anything, or if it’s all just speculation. But there’s no denying that the industry is shifting, and that’s only likely to continue.

Editors' Recommendations

Christian de Looper
Christian’s interest in technology began as a child in Australia, when he stumbled upon a computer at a garage sale that he…
How to use the Samsung My Files app
The camera app of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE.

If you have a Galaxy phone, you also have a My Files app … but you may not have used it yet. The Samsung My Files app is all about utility and managing storage, but users rarely need it unless something goes wrong. If you can’t locate a file on your phone, but you're sure it was downloaded, this app can help. Likewise, if you want to transfer specific files from your computer to your phone (and vice-versa) but aren’t sure how to, the My Files app will prove necessary.

Let’s go over how to find the My Files app, and the useful things it can do for Galaxy phone users.
Finding the My Files app

Read more
Here are all the confirmed Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phones, but where’s Samsung?
A reference phone with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 branding on the screen.

In late 2021, Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 smartphone processor, the successor to the Snapdragon 888 chip found in many top smartphones throughout 2021. The chip is notable not only for its immense power and new nomenclature, but also for what it means to the future of smartphone photography.

We're pretty excited about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and expect you are, too, so when will we get the chance to try one out in a new phone? Unsurprisingly, manufacturers are keen to let us know about upcoming phones with the processor inside, and several companies have already announced devices that use the  Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, but surprisingly, Samsung continues to maintain silence over its plans with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip.

Read more
Samsung Exynos loses big even as MediaTek widens its lead over Qualcomm
MediaTek logo seen outside one of its offices in Taiwan.

When MediaTek overtook Qualcomm to become the biggest smartphone chipset vendor in 2020, it did so by grabbing 31% of the smartphone SoC market. A year later, the Taiwanese company has not only managed to hold on to that position but has also significantly widened its lead over Qualcomm.

According to a recent Counterpoint Research report, MediaTek’s share in the smartphone chipset market -- as of Q3 2021 -- stands at 40%, showing an increase of seven percentage points compared to the same period in 2020. This increase was bolstered partly by a surge in demand for 4G LTE phones in emerging markets (like India), where 5G networks are still several years away. In comparison, Qualcomm, which had 28% of the global SoC market in 2020, found its market share drop to 27%.

Read more