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 the Snapdragon chipsets, 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) – Qualcomm said, “The way you should think about it is that Snapdragon will power your Galaxy product line, your Galaxy flagship 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.”
This comes straight from Cristiano Amon, president and CEO of Qualcomm, and they seem to be saying that the company already supplies chipsets for 75% of 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 low-end ones can still use Exynos or MediaTek. But even with the Galaxy S23 lineup, it’s possible that some regions will get an Exynos chipset, but probably a lot less than with the Galaxy S22.
Analysis: a good move
This move to Snapdragon can only be a good thing, as some regions (including the UK) currently get Samsung’s Exynos chipsets in the company’s flagship phones, and they 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). However, Samsung does not give a discount to UK buyers.
It also complicates reviews, as publications often review only one model, so your review may not be fully representative of the other. The same goes for shoppers’ ratings and impressions, but readers aren’t always aware that the phone they might buy might not line up with what they’ve read.
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 continue to be an issue considering how global society – and particularly the Internet – is.
So Snapdragon in all looks like a beneficial change, although it’s not yet known how long this change will last. Qualcomm has extended its partnership with Samsung for 7 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.