Qualcomm all but confirms Samsung won’t use the Snapdragon 810

A big name won't be using the Snapdragon 810. Photo: Qualcomm

A big name won’t be using the Snapdragon 810. Photo: Qualcomm

Without naming any names, Qualcomm warned that its earnings for the current fiscal quarter will be lower than first expected after its new Snapdragon 810 processor was dropped by “a large customer.”

The announcement follows speculation surrounding Samsung’s decision not to use the chip in its upcoming Galaxy S6 due to a possible heat issue.

For the full year, Qualcomm expects to earn $26 billion to $28 billion in revenue, down from the $26.8 billion to $28.8 billion it forecast earlier. Per-share earnings are now expected to be between $4.75 and $5.05, down from $5.05 to $5.35.

Qualcomm actually blamed the cut on China, noting that while the country presents significant opportunities — particularly with the rollout of 3G/4G LTE multimode — it “also presents significant challenges, as our business practices continue to be the subject of an investigation by the China National Development and Reform Commission.”

But the fact that one significant customer has decided not to adopt Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 810 certainly won’t have helped the situation. Qualcomm did not confirm that customer was Samsung, but a recent Reuters report claimed the company had discovered heat issues during testing for the Galaxy S6 and therefore decided to use its own Exynos chip instead.

When pressed on the alleged heat issues, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said the Snapdragon 810 is “working the way we expected it to work,” adding the issues are limited to one particular customer. “We just wish it had won one more design.”

The Wall Street Journal later said that Qualcomm is working with Samsung to develop a new version of the Snapdragon 810 specifically for Samsung’s devices, but based on these comments, it now seems as though that won’t be happening.

Plenty of other handsets will use the Snapdragon 810 in 2015 and beyond — including LG’s new G Flex 2, and likely its upcoming G4 as well. But with Samsung’s Galaxy S6 expected to be one of this year’s best sellers, Samsung’s decision not to use a Snapdragon 810 will cost Qualcomm dearly.