Sitting at the core of this agreement is licensing of 3G, 4G, 5G and 6G patents, but it goes a lot further, suggesting that Samsung’s next-generation of flagship devices will be using Snapdragon hardware globally, rather than splitting the offering between Snapdragon and Exynos.
That will likely be met enthusiastically by fans who have long criticised Samsung’s use of Exynos, preferring the optimisation that Snapdragon offers. While it hasn’t been explicitly confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy S23 will be exclusively Snapdragon globally, Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon expanded on the announcement in the company’s Q3 earnings call, saying:
“The way you should think about it is Snapdragon will power their [Samsung’s] Galaxy product line, their Galaxy flagship products. And what I can say at this point is we were 75 per cent on Galaxy S22 before the agreement. You should be thinking about we’re going to be much better than that on Galaxy S23 and beyond. It’s a multiyear agreement … You should think about us powering their devices globally.”
The other takeaway from the deal is that Amon is genuinely excited about it, saying in response to a question about the Samsung relationship: “besides the record in auto and IoT revenues, the Samsung agreement is probably my favorite thing in the quarter.”
For Qualcomm it means that Snapdragon is going to get wider use in the world’s largest smartphone brand and the move will please customers – but what does it mean for Exynos?
It’s understood that Samsung is reorganising the Exynos business and rumours that it’s going to shut down the business aren’t true: “Currently, we are reorganising our system-on-chip business model, and are pursuing a plan to strengthen our competitiveness in the mid- to long-term,” said Samsung Electronics in its own earnings call, according to Maeil Economic Daily.
That might mean that we see less of Exynos in mass market Samsung devices, but it seems there will still be plenty of activity on Samsung’s own hardware.
Writing by Chris Hall.