We’ve been hearing for a while that Samsung may be using Snapdragon chipsets — likely the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 — globally in the Samsung Galaxy S23 line. These were just rumors, but now Qualcomm, which makes Snapdragon chipsets, has also suggested that this will be the case.
In its Q3 2022 earnings call — a transcript of which can be found at Fool.com (opens in new tab) – Qualcomm has said, “The way you have to think about it is that Snapdragon will power their Galaxy product line, their Galaxy flagship products. And what I can say at this point is that before the deal, we had 75% on Galaxy S22. You should think we will be much better than that on Galaxy S23 and beyond.
“It is a multi-year agreement. And it is – that’s probably what I can tell you. You should think about the fact that we power their devices worldwide.”
That’s coming straight from Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm’s President and CEO, and they seem to be saying that the company is already supplying chipsets to 75% of the Galaxy S22 models, but the percentage will be much higher from the Galaxy S23 onwards.
The mention of powering Samsung devices worldwide also suggests that more or less every flagship Samsung phone will have a Snapdragon chipset.
That said, Amon won’t go so far as to say that 100% of Samsung devices will use Qualcomm chipsets. For starters, it only seems to refer to premium handsets, so budget handsets can still use Exynos or MediaTek handsets. But even with the Galaxy S23 line, it is possible that some regions will get an Exynos chipset, but probably much less than with the Galaxy S22.
Analysis: a good move
This shift to Snapdragon can only be a good thing, as some regions (including the UK) are currently getting Samsung’s own Exynos chipsets in the company’s flagship phones, and these usually don’t perform as well as the Snapdragon versions.
That means, for example, that the Samsung Galaxy S22 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). Still, Samsung does not give British buyers a discount.
It also complicates assessments, as publications will often rate only one model, so their rating may not be fully representative of the other. The same goes for buyer reviews and impressions, but readers may not always be aware that the phone they can buy may not match what they’ve read.
So it’s a messy situation, and even if the Exynos chipsets were better, in some ways getting a different phone in different regions would still be an issue, given how global society – especially the internet – is.
So Snapdragon sounds like a favorable change in everything, although it remains to be seen how long this change will last. Qualcomm has extended its partnership with Samsung for another 7 years, until 2030, but with reports that Samsung is building a custom chipset designed specifically for Galaxy devices, we could see the chipset split returning sooner.