For the first time in years, Qualcomm’s dominance in powering the best Android phones appears to look shaky. With Google adopting its own Tensor chipset and Samsung’s Exynos chip promising unprecedented graphical performance, you could be forgiven for thinking the sun is setting on Qualcomm’s time at the top.
But if that is the case, then the company is certainly putting a brave face on it. As its annual Investor Day, the company produced a slide promising a big presence on Samsung handsets, even if the Exynos 2200 is waiting in the wings.
Qualcomm appears to have a commitment for 40-50% of the flagship Samsung Galaxy S series phones in 2022. @Qualcomm pic.twitter.com/IL10UHPe7SNovember 16, 2021
While others have reported that the slide pictured above shows Samsung is promising that 40 to 50% of Samsung Galaxy S devices — presumably encompassing the Galaxy S22, much delayed S21 FE and maybe even a S22 FE — to us, it looks a bit more ambiguous. Is Qualcomm promising a presence in 50% of Galaxy S phones shipped, or that its chips will be used in 50% of Samsung’s total devices shipped in 2022? It just isn’t clear.
The latter possibility is given additional credence by a report in Korean publication The Elec, which claims that 31 of the 64 Samsung devices due in 2022 will use Qualcomm chips. That’s 48.43%, which fits very snugly in the “40 to 50%” figure on the slide above.
The report claims that the other devices will use Exynos chips (20), MediaTek (14) and UNISOC (3). Yes, that adds up to 68, rather than the 64 originally mentioned, but we assume that’s because some handsets will have both a Qualcomm and Exynos variant, as the Galaxy S22 is indeed rumored to.
Historically, Samsung’s Exynos chips have offered slightly inferior performance to the Qualcomm version, but in 2022 the tables could be turned thanks to a collaboration between Samsung and AMD which could be a game changer for gaming performance. There’s even talk of ray tracing support.
But the global chip shortage could raise its ugly head again here, with talk of low yields for the new Exynos chipset. It has previously been stated that Galaxy S22 phones featuring the Exynos chip could be limited to select markets, so it will be worth reading up on exactly what you’re getting when the handset launches early next year.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 will reportedly arrive in three form factors, with the slightly smaller S22 and S22 Plus (rumored to be S22 Pro this time around) launching alongside a Galaxy Note-like S22 Ultra, complete with S Pen and large display for doodling.
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Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.