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Qualcomm: Snapdragon 810 won't be in 'large customer's flagship'

Qualcomm today reported their first quarter 2015 earnings, and while we don't usually pay too much attention to the financial ticks and tocks of the chipmakers, Qualcomm today flat-out stated that their Snapdragon 810 processor had been snubbed by "a large customer" for their flagship device, and that it would have a material impact on their earnings for the second half of the year. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800-series processors powered every flagship Android smartphone of last year, but it was reported just last week that the one customer that could have a serious impact on Qualcomm's bottom line wouldn't be using the newest 810 processor in their newest phone, and that customer would be Samsung.

Here's exactly what Qualcomm had to say (emphasis ours):

We have lowered our outlook for the second half of fiscal 2015 in our semiconductor business, QCT, largely driven by the effects of:

  • A shift in share among OEMs at the premium tier, which has reduced our near-term opportunity for sales of our integrated Snapdragon™ processors and has skewed our product mix towards more modem chipsets in this tier;
  • Expectations that our Snapdragon 810 processor will not be in the upcoming design cycle of a large customer's flagship device; and
  • Heightened competition in China.

Of course, Qualcomm's not saying why this "large customer" *coughsamsungcough* was declining using the Snapdragon 810 or what they were using instead. But according to the rumors that be, it's because the 810 has been overheating in testing of the Samsung Galaxy S6. Even if the soon-to-be-last-generation Samsung Galaxy S5 hasn't performed up to expectations, Samsung has still sold tens of millions of them by now. And if Samsung goes with their own Exynos processors instead of Qualcomm's latest chips, that's a huge blow to Qualcomm's bottom line. Huge enough to warrant a sideways-glance-mention in a financial results press release.

For their part, LG's using the Snapdragon 810 in the LG G Flex 2 and says they've seen no overheating issues. We'll probably find out soon enough what the deal is with the processors in the Galaxy S6, though at this point the writing's on the wall that it won't be powered by Qualcomm.

Source: Qualcomm (pdf)

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm (the old one), and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.

92 Comments
  • That escalated quickly. Posted via OnePlus One
  • I killed a guy with a trident.. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I've been meaning to talk to you about that. You should find yourself a safehouse or a relative close by. Lay low for a while, because you're probably wanted for murder.
  • Excellent advice
  • More Snapdragons for everyone else!
  • More toasters! Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • Allegedly at least. We'll see when they get into the wild. Wubba lubba dub dub!
  • That's racist! http://i.imgur.com/p1UW8dqh.jpg Posted via the Android Central App
  • Guess I won't be owning any new Samsung flagships. Rooted LG G2.
    Rooted GS3, Stock Galaxy Note 4
    If it ain't Tech, it ain't Right!
  • Excited to see the progress of the S6. I just hope it supports multiple LTE bands. As I heard that always was an issue with the Exynos chip.
  • I think it was more a licensing thing for LTE in the US and some other places. But that seems to be fixed now.
  • You mean the ZTE blade S6? ;) Wubba lubba dub dub!
  • Looking forward to the S6 Posted via the Android Central App
  • How did they report their first quarter earnings?? The first quarter aint even over yet??
  • Yes it is. Fiscal year starts October 1st. So Jan 1st is the end of Q1 Posted using my OnePlus One
  • Fiscal
  • Ahhh, different calenders dude. Please dont tell me you are an investor
  • ahhhh ok :)
  • Good, Sammy was a pain in the A$$ to deal with when i was testing android phones for QC... on to better pastures
  • Well that seals the deal. No SD810 on GS6. THANK GOD. I really like to see Exynos powering GS6. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The 7420 is gonna be the most powerful mobile SoC on the market when it's released. Posted via the Unrivaled Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • What is better about the Exynos processor? Does it run cooler? More efficiently? Posted via the Android Central App
  • The exynos is built on a 14 nm process, has a higher clock rate than the 810, and is its gonna be more power efficient as well. A leaked geekbench score for the exynos 7 just showed a multicore score of 5470 !!! That's significantly more powerful than any other mobile device in existence unless you're talking about the i5-i7 running on the surface pro 3's (which is really a laptop). Fyi. It's also over 1000 pts higher Than the A8X on the iPad air 2. And this is a smartphone were talking about here !! Samsung just became the industry standard Posted via the Unrivaled Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • Ok... But why does that matter? While power improvements are always welcome, do you really see that type of computational power being necessary in smartphones? Posted on my Galaxy S5
  • Both of these processors will be obsolete in ten months, so do the scores really matter? It's how the phone runs, and what games you can play for how long on your two hour flight.
  • Well of course a glass device will overheat quickly. Stupid Samsung. I had a s4 made out of plastic and that thing got to 100°F and battery lasted 2 hours. I hated it!
    I wonder if they will make chips for project Ara.... Posted via Android Central App on 1+1
  • Well the thing is SD810 is pretty bad when comparing it to Exynos.. so yeah. Posted via the Android Central App
  • They use the same CPU cores. The difference is the GPU. As for the leaked comparison, it was two devices with different memory configurations, which isn't an apples to apples comparison.
  • Edit button isn't working for me, so I'll reply. When I said that they use the same CPU cores, I was referring to Snapdragon 810 and the upcoming Exynos. Both use quad core ARM Cortex A57 + quad core Cortex A53 octo core arrangements. In the past, Samsung used the ARM reference designs while Qualcomm used their in-house designs (Scorpion and Krait).
  • One is 14 nm the other is 20nm. That's the reason Samsung doesn't want to use Qualcomm at the moment. The SD810 is, like jayjay says, pretty bad compared to the Exynos 7-series, even though they both use the same basic architecture. Like some people who tested the LG flex 2 at CES said, it seems to overheat really fast.
  • Exynos = 14nm
    SD810 = 20nm Mostly confirmed Posted via the Android Central App
  • Idk, I have a oneplus one and snapdragon 801 is just fine for me. Idk why everyone wants to overkill on specs Posted via Android Central App on 1+1
  • Because bigger numbers are better duh. in all honesty it's only marginally better, 64 bit support is future proofing kind of, but if you want a high end device all the time you are probably going to upgrade before it makes a difference.
  • Hans - A sincere thank you for providing that information. I was unaware that they were using a 14nm version. I've since read the press releases on the chip, and the leaked roadmaps showing their incorporation into the GS6. It's not official confirmation, but where there's smoke, there's fire.
  • Lolwut? When did Samsung put a glass device out? Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • S6 rumors point to glass. Copying iPhone 4 Posted via Android Central App on 1+1
  • Nexus 4 copied iphone 4 first... so.. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah, I could easily believe the over heating was Samsung's fault. For many reasons: 1. LG didn't have the problem
    2. In my experience Samsung uses really cheap-ass components, even in their corporate level stuff.
    3. It gives them an excuse to use only their in-house SoCs despite Qualcomm being the buzz word atm. Posted via who-gives-a-s***
  • Well I suppose that's good for the competition. Snapdragon basically had a monopoly on MOST of the flagships. Posted via the Android Central App
  • They were in all the Android flagships for 2014, even on windows phone the top Lumias used snapdragon 800s.
  • Over heating issue... Not possible. Made up so Sammy can use their own processor. Posted via the Android Central App
  • http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/oneplus-two-joins-snapdragon-810-dela... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Prove they made it up. Otherwise your speaking FUD Posted via the Android Central App
  • Ya, they're own better, more powerful processor Posted via the Unrivaled Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • I really hope that they did not make up the overheating issues just as an excuse to use their own processors, instead of the Snapdragon. If they did it for cost reasons then they should just admit that's the reason. Something just seems off on this entire thing.. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I see no problems, we need more SOC diversification, Qualcomm owns too much of the market and even more so with their baseband market where they own upwards of 90% of the global market...
  • Samsung's profits fall and they want to use a chip they they already own. It makes financial sense. Stop buying in and use what you already have= good for the bottom line. Making up rubbish about the chip overheating is Samsung's marketing dept trying to twist the story to suit themselves. Posted via the Android Central App
  • http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/oneplus-two-joins-snapdragon-810-dela... Looks like samsung paid off oneplus as well. /s Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah that fraud of a company is worthy of quoting Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • Just stop. Posted via the Android Central App
  • This just prove how much Apple's SOC team is kicking butts and lend credence to how everyone was caught by surprised with the 64bit A7 chip. That is not good news for mobile vendors when everyone gets their chips from one vendor. It also proves how good one company is executing their plans. If the 810 can't be overclock, which normally what samsung likes to do (since they always seem to get a higher clock chip from qualcomm) to differentiate in the past then samsung can't brag about that spec. It's crazy to think that AAPL is the leading and best mobile SOC designer out there, just crazy.
  • You know Samsung makes Apple's chips right? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Samsung manufacture the chip to Apple's specs, Apple design their own chips internally and currently have the leading mobile SOC design in the world. Get your facts straight, actually TSMC is manufacturing 70% of Apple's current chips (A8 & A8X) samsung is only responsible for the remaining 30%.
  • We get it, your an apple shill. We got it months ago Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • You're smoking crack. both the exynos 7420 and SD 810 already piss all over the A8 in CPU intensive benchmarks. The A8x is a very powerful chip, but apples SoCs are about to be an afterthought. Posted via the Unrivaled Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • Sammy will be 70% of the A9 supply. Suck on that.
  • The iPhone 6 plus is notably more sluggish than the smaller 6. And the plus is still ONLY regular full HD. Samsung are selling Quad HD phones.... You're comparing apples and pears again, as usual...
  • Really, I am talking SOC, you are talking about phones and screens so who exactly is comparing apples and pears again. No one currently has a better mobile SOC than Apple. The 810 was suppose to be the answer and it does not look good so far. Qualcomm have always put more cores and higher clocks just to be competitive with the Apple's SOC, they can't crank that up to achieve the same result then I smell trouble.
  • You're talking about phones and screens, but suddenly backtracks when someone gives you the hard facts, like any other Apple troll in the internet.
  • What hard facts? Which mobile SOC is the current market leader? No where in my previous comments did I mention phones or screen, I only talked about mobile soc and the 64bit A7. Why don't you try again.
  • Why don't you try to respond to what I wrote instead of wobbling around it like your bendy POS iPhone? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....
  • LMFAO Phandroids can't take the heat from Apple's Record breaking quarter, they are all upset calling me names and everything in between. #dealwithit. Apple is the best, biggest most profitable company out in the world. 3rd quarter they took 86% of the industry profits I am afraid this quarter that will increase to 90% lol, lost of butthurt folks here.
  • You're an idiot. You do realize that the exynos octa 5433 alone has a multi-core Geekbench score averaging 800 points more than the A8 right? That's just an average score son! 5433 scores up to 40,000 on Geekbench, 7420 is going to trounce that Why are you the only Apple troll on Android Central ? I'm pretty sure most Apple fanboys would make fun of you lmfao Posted via the Unrivaled Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • Record breaking sales have absolutely zero to do with where I'm putting my smartphone cash. No wonder they call you guys sheep. You've earned the title. lmao
  • Please just stop. Now take this dog biscuit and got back under your bridge Posted via the Android Central App
  • Apple trolls will never change. They don't care how stupid they sound, they're just happy to get the attention. :)
  • Looks like no custom ROMs for the S6, unless Sammy reverses its policy of not releasing Exynos source. TouchBloat ftw!
  • Glass backs are a mistake; nice you got the plastic and metal versus all one or the other right.
    Qualcomm is a good house but nobody bats 101 percent.
  • but they look so pretty (◕‿◕✿)
  • I never felt Android phones really became super snappy until the Snapdragon 800. It seemed to be about that time when they felt nearly as "fluid" as apple.
  • Nexus 5, and the New Moto X.. Fluid. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Both have snapdragon 800 or later SoC :P Posted on my Galaxy S5
  • Just perfect time for Intel and NVIDIA to negotiate with Samsung to put some chips in the Galaxy S6 because of Qualcomm's neglect to test their chips properly Posted via the Android Central App
  • I do not think that's correct, if history is any indications then samsung is just trying to overclock the 810 chip. They have been doing that since the snapdragon 600. Even though HTC had the same snapdragon chip in the M7, samsung snapdragon 600 was clocked higher. They did the same with the 801, so I am thinking the same thing thing is at play here.
  • The didn't overclock they used different model processors.
    For the 600's the HTC One M7 had a APQ8064T(up to 1.7GHz) and the Galaxy S4 had a APQ8064AB(up to 1.9GHz).
    For the 801's the HTC One M8 had a MSM8974-AB(up to 2.3) and the Galaxy S5 had a MSM8974-AC(up to 2.5GHz).
  • Apple troll would close their ears to the facts that apple is not the best to everything. They just throw anything to justify that everything is inferior to the iGod Posted via Android Central App
  • I don't think it has anything to do with overheating. A fair guess could be, that since Samsung's earnings has dropped, they could reduce their expenses by using their own SOC, Equinox. But this is only my humble guess. from Sweden on a Nexus 5, with Lollipop!
  • What is the difference between Exynos and Snapdragon? I had the option of buying either or, but chose Snapdragon cause it's well known. But I saw that Exynos was Octa Core vs Snapdragon Quadcore, if memory serves me well. So, from a numbers game, I would figure Exynos would be better. But really, what is the difference, besides openness?
  • Never mind. Found my answer. Samsung has a point. There's a comparison of the Note 4 on YouTube. For the most part, they're neck in neck. Exynos wins some, Snapdragon wins some, but they're pretty close in the benchmarks. What I got from this...GPU slightly better on Snapdragon, Browsing much better on Exynos. However, the Snapdragon overheats faster than Exynos.
  • 8 is not necessarily better than 6,4. Speed in a particular app and size of transistors varies along with a lot more. I only have one Samsung 8 core and it is very good in that machine with that OS. Samsung is one of the top semiconductor companies in the world. They are better known for the memory they make than their CPUs.
    Qualcomm is one of the best too although I don't think they have any in house manufacturing plants.
  • I suspect this is some kind of power play by Sammy. Over what I have no idea, but the fact that other manufacturers aren't backing away from the 810 seems to indicate that it's not actually a technical reason. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well other manufactures do not have their own options to fall back on like samsung. I am guessing others are doing what LG is doing with the Flex 2, is throttle the 810 aggressively and hope Qualcomm improves it eventually.
  • So those rumors were pretty much true about Samsung ditching the SD810 Posted via the Android Central App
  • Exynos chipsets are a tad inferior generally, so yes, I'm a tad upset; nevertheless, Samsung will profit happily in the long run given that they change the design a tad. Posted via the Android Central App
  • If they had released a 810 handset this month they could of advertised the heat from the chip as a handwarmer feature. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The performance difference Doesn’t matter as much as power management. That could be the deciding factor between the two. My money would be on Exynos and it's 14 nm structure. Posted via the Android Central my Rogers Note 4
  • Yea, the size of the parts (14nm) would lead me to expect significantly better performance and better power usage no matter who made it. Be interesting to see if other Android device makers start using it too.
    Samsung has been a key supplier to Apple at times.
  • I'm assuming Samsung will have 50 different versions of their own processor in the S6 for different regions and carriers. 49 of them wont end up getting any updates. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm a bit confused. This overheating issue is rumor or fact? Do we know for sure yet or are we just speculating? Forgive my ignorance, I'm just trying to understand how a company like qualcomm could release a chip with this issue, knowing full well they would be crucified by the press and tech fans. Wouldn't doing so severely hurt their reputation? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Exactly Posted via the Android Central App
  • If the S6 still has that ugly button at the bottom I will pass on that, loved my S2 with the on screen buttons and now my LG G3. Will see what the HTC m10 and S7 hold when it's upgrade time. Posted via the Android Central App
  • bad news for custom non touchwiz roms for the s6