We’ve been hearing reports for some time now that Samsung may use Snapdragon chipsets – likely the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 – globally in the Samsung Galaxy S23 lineup. These were just rumors, but now Qualcomm, which makes Snapdragon chips, has also hinted that this will be the case.
In its Q3 2022 earnings call – the transcript of which can be found at Fool.com (opens in new tab) – Cristiano Amon, President and CEO of Qualcomm said “the way you should think about it is Snapdragon’s willpower [Samsung’s] Galaxy product line, your flagship Galaxy products. And what I can say at this point is that we were 75% on the Galaxy S22 before the deal. You might be thinking we’re going to be a lot better than that on the Galaxy S23 and beyond.
“It is a multi-year agreement. And it’s – that’s probably what I can tell you. You should think of us powering your devices globally.”
So this comes straight from the top, and Amon seems to be saying that the company already supplies chipsets for 75% of the Galaxy S22 models, but that the percentage will be much higher for the Galaxy S23 onwards.
The mention of powering Samsung devices globally also suggests that more or less all of Samsung’s flagship phones will have a Snapdragon chipset.
That said, Amon doesn’t go so far as to say that 100% of Samsung devices will use Qualcomm chipsets. On the one hand, he seems to be referring only to premium handsets, so budget phones can still use Exynos or MediaTek chips. And even with the Galaxy S23 lineup, it is possible that some regions will receive an Exynos chipset, although probably much less so than in the case of the Galaxy S22 lineup.
Analysis: a good move
This move to Snapdragon can only be a good thing, as currently some regions (including the UK) get Samsung’s Exynos chipsets in the company’s flagship phones, and these handsets typically don’t perform as well as the Snapdragon versions.
That means the Samsung Galaxy S22, for example, is arguably a better phone in the US, where it’s equipped with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, than in the UK, where it has an Exynos 2200 – but Samsung doesn’t offer the UK. buyers a discount to account for this.
It also complicates reviews as publications often only review one phone model, so your review may not be fully representative of the other. The same applies to buyer reviews and impressions, with readers perhaps not aware that the phone being reviewed may not be the same phone they are considering purchasing.
So it’s a confusing situation; and even if Exynos chipsets were better, the fact that you’re somehow getting a different phone in different regions would still be an issue considering how global society – and particularly the internet – is.
So putting Snapdragon chips in everything seems like a sensible move, although it remains to be seen how long this policy will last. Qualcomm has extended its partnership with Samsung for seven years, until 2030, but with reports that Samsung is building a bespoke chipset designed specifically for Galaxy devices, we could see the chipset split return sooner than that.