Why Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon could be dropped by Samsung

This year's Galaxy S6 could rely solely on Samsung's Exynos chips. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

This year’s Galaxy S6 could rely solely on Samsung’s Exynos chips. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Samsung’s flagship Galaxy devices come with Qualcomm’s latest and greatest Snapdragon chips every year, but the chip maker’s newest offering not be good enough for the Galaxy S6. Sources familiar with Samsung’s plans say that due to overheating issues with the Snapdragon 810, Samsung will use its own Exynos processors instead for this device.

“Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, tested a new version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chip, known as the 810, and decided not to use it, the people said, asking not to be identified because the issue hasn’t been discussed publicly,” reads a Bloomberg report.

While the Snapdragon 810 will still make its way into plenty of other devices throughout 2015, its omission from the Galaxy S6 could be a big blow for Qualcomm. Samsung’s Galaxy S devices have been the best-selling Android-powered smartphones for a number of years, and that could mean tens of millions of lost sales for the Snapdragon 810.

Unlike the vast majority of its rivals, Samsung has its own Exynos processors to fall back on, and the company has been integrating them into its own devices for a while. In fact, previous Galaxy S smartphones have been available with an Exynos chip, but their Snapdragon-powered siblings were more common.

The reason why the Exynos chip hasn’t already replaced the Snapdragon for Samsung is Qualcomm’s superior LTE integration, which makes it a better offering for markets like the U.S. and Europe, where 4G LTE connectivity is commonplace. Samsung will need to overcome that problem if it hopes to rely solely on the Exynos chip.

The Galaxy S6 is expected to make its debut next month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. For now, neither Samsung nor Qualcomm would comment on these claims.