About that Qualcomm 4G sticker on your Galaxy S6

One of the more important details surrounding the launch of Samsung's flagship duo was the decision to go all-in on their Exynos processors for this generation. After years of using Qualcomm for some versions and Exynos for others, the unified release is a big deal for Samsung. With the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge on shelves now, several users have pointed out a sticker that reads "Qualcomm 4G" on the top edge of the device. We've got one here on the Verizon Wireless variant of the S6 edge, but not on the T-Mobile variant. This doesn't mean there's a Snapdragon hiding under the glass of the VZW S6 phones, but it does mean Samsung licensed some things from Qualcomm in order to ensure everything works as intended.

While most of us know Qualcomm as the manufacturer of just about every mobile processor in smartphones today, from an industry perspective the big thing this company is known for is the technology that started mobile to mobile communications. CDMA exists largely because of Qualcomm, and on the foundation the company has continued to be deeply involved in the evolution of mobile radios being used for calls and data today. As a result, Qualcomm's patent portfolio is both extensive and — when it comes to releasing phones on networks that rely on CDMA technologies — largely unavoidable. Verizon Wireless relies on CDMA for their non-LTE networks, which means Samsung needs to recognize their license to use Qualcomm's patents.

As you can see, there's no cause for alarm. The Verizon Wireless Galaxy S6 has all the same inside parts as all of the other Galaxy S6 variants, but sometimes when you're a giant corporation you have to give credit where credit is due. You're safe to remove that sticker and never think about it again, assuming you haven't already.

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

35 Comments
  • About as useful as those Intel Inside stickers on a laptop. Peel, bend, roll up, throw away.
  • Those Intel and MS stickers always leave the nasty glue behind.
  • A bit of Zippo/Ronsonol lighter fluid will clean those right out. The fluid dissolves the glue making it easy to clean it away. Leaves no residue too. :p
  • Pro tip! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Rubbing alcohol too, even gasoline will work too just like lighter fluid. But rubbing alcohol evaporates the fastest without leaving a flammable film the lighter fluid can do
  • Have you smelled gasoline? Posted via Android Central App- Via HTC One
  • I left a comment on G+, but I dont know if you guys monitor that account for comments. Below is a copy of it: This article is not correct. The GSM (T-Mobile/AT&T) models use the Shannon 333 modem whereas the CDMA variants are actually using a Qualcomm MDM9635 CDMA Modem. Thats the reason for the sticker, it has Qualcomm hardware onboard.
  • So there is a difference between the T-Mobile and Verizon ones? Interesting. Are these modems also responsible for LTE? Also, the sticker says "Qualcomm 4G" not "Qualcomm 3G (CDMA)."
  • Makes a lot more sense than simply that they licensed the patent. phones often have more than one modem chip when dealing with CDMA and LTE, you'd have to check a teardown like ifixit.
  • This article is incorrect. The internals are not the same. The CDMA variants use a Qualcomm Modem, whereas the rest use Samsung's own modem.
  • Right, Russell is explaining that the Verizon phone has a different radio, not a whole different processor.
  • But he is still wrong, he states
    "The Verizon Wireless Galaxy S6 has all the same inside parts as all of the other Galaxy S6 variants" which is untrue, in fact the premise on which the article is founded is wrong. The GSM and CDMA S6's are running different hardware, but the same CPU/GPU. If that was the intended point of the article then it should have been presented as such, not as they are identical and they had to put the sticker on certain models due to "licensing".
  • Fact-checking (or the lack of it) FTL.
  • Great article. Pity it's bollocks Posted via the Android Central App
  • I hate CDMA. GSM is much better! Posted via Android Central App on 1+1
  • Says the att guy Posted via the Android Central App
  • Can you use any unlocked phone on gsm with the right bands, try that on useless Verizon. Posted via the Android Central App
  • True! Word is next year Verizon will have LTE only smartphones for the first time, no CDMA. CDMA probably won't go anywhere til the 2020-2022 timeframe. Verizon will need to refarm the spectrum is uses for the useless EVDO Rev A. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Tell us that when inside a building. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Haha, Russell I see Phil coerced you into writing this article after bringing it up on the podcast. Good info though, That sticker could be very confusing for the more tech minded of us.
  • Why does the picture not even resemble an s6?
  • That's a really good point! The simple slot and the infrared port on the bottom of the phone? Posted via the Android Central App
  • In the article Russell mentions the sticker is placed at the top. Read the article's headline.
  • It's an s6 edge. IR and SIM slot on top of the phone, instead of SIM on the side like the regular s6. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Ohhh, I'm not that familiar with the S6E, I have the regular S6. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I had mistaken the speaker for the home button, because in the picture, that's what it looks like. ☺
  • The last time I remember radio and Chipset parts being mismatched was on the Verizon gnex... And we all know how that turned out. Lol I'm sure they figured it out but still. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Jesus people are Fucking stupid. CDMA is owned by Qualcomm. CDMA phone = Qualcomm chipset. But hey, great click bait as usual over lame shit that a high school kid could type better. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Wow you're really just a ray of sunshine aren't you? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Normally people write "lol" without actually laughing....but I literally laughed out loud in a quiet room of people at this comment. Slightly embarrassing, but I shook it off pretty quickly. :-D Posted via the Android Central App
  • @socalbigdildo, Okay, why don't you create your own Android/Tech website and show us how it's done. Google+ All Day Everyday
  • CDMA was around long, long, before Qualcomm was a company.
  • I thought the CDMA versions use the Gobi modems instead of Samsung's Shannon modem... These stickers can also be found on Galaxy Note 2 devices which used Qualcomm's Gobi modems even though they too only used Exynos processors at the time.
  • My eyes hurt watching those misaligned holes..
  • Typical Samsung junk quality control. They can't even get copying the iPhone 6 right.