The Samsung Galaxy S25 may be all Snapdragon again — not all Exynos

The Amber Yellow Samsung Galaxy S24 colorway and its vibrant display
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A new report claims that Samsung will use Qualcomm for all the Galaxy S25's processors. 
  • Previously, Samsung used a mix of its own Exynos processors and Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips to power Galaxy phones.
  • This would mark the second time that Samsung used Snapdragon processors for its S-series lineup in all regions — the first time was with the Galaxy S23 series last year. 

We're still waiting for Samsung to unveil its next-generation lineup of foldables, including the Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Galaxy Z Fold 6. However, leaks surrounding the further-out Galaxy S25 series are already heating up. There are conflicting reports about what kind of processor will power Galaxy S25 phones, but a new one from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that Samsung will release another series of flagships featuring Qualcomm processors in all regions. 

Historically, Samsung has used a mix of Qualcomm Snapdragon chips and its own Exynos platforms, with different regions getting different processors. That changed in 2023 when the Galaxy S23 series shipped with Snapdragon chips everywhere. When the current Galaxy S24 lineup was unveiled this year, Samsung returned to using a mix of Snapdragon and Exynos processors. 

Qualcomm explained earlier this year that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy platform powers the Galaxy S24 Ultra in all markets, but the S24 and S24 Plus use Samsung's Exynos chips "in select regions." By comparison, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset powered all of Samsung's Galaxy S23 phones globally.

Now, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that Qualcomm will "likely" produce all the chips for the Samsung Galaxy S25 series. That might not be by choice, though. Kuo adds that Samsung has seen lower-than-expected yield for the upcoming flagship Exynos platform built on the 3nm process. It's expected to be called the Exynos 2500. Due to the rumored low yield, Kuo predicts Samsung will use the upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chipset — likely in a "for Galaxy" version — for every Galaxy S25 device.

This contradicts an earlier, but less credible, rumor surrounding the Galaxy S25 chipset. An X (formerly Twitter) user @OreXda claimed in March 2024 that the entire Galaxy S25 series would be powered by Exynos processors — ditching Qualcomm entirely. This rumor also stated that the Galaxy Z series would use Qualcomm chips and the Galaxy A series would use a mix of MediaTek and Exynos processors.

It's possible that there is some degree of truth to both reports. If Samsung had been able to producer better yield for the upcoming Exynos 2500 systems-on-a-chip, perhaps it had a goal of moving to Exynos entirely. This would've been a risky move, since the Exynos versions of Samsung phones still typically perform worse than their Snapdragon counterparts. But if the yield for the new platform was lower than expected, as Kuo reports, that would explain why Samsung is shifting gears entirely. 

Why Samsung may have wanted to move away from Qualcomm chips

The back of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra in the Titanium Grey colorway

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

It's certainly understandable why Samsung would want to use Exynos processors in all Galaxy S25 phones. In the same report, Kuo says that Qualcomm plans to raise prices for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 mobile platform. This aligns with previous reports, but this time, we got an idea of how much. Kuo adds that Qualcomm will charge phone manufacturers 25-30% more for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chip than it charged for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip. That would make these processors priced at nearly $200 alone. 

Kuo says that the price increase has to do with the way the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chip is manufactured. It's made using TSMC's N3E process node, per the report, which is costly. It would be the first Android mobile platform to be created using a 3nm process, which Apple first used in the A17 Pro chip in the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max

Samsung's rumored Exynos 2500 processor is also set to use the company's own 3nm process, but as Kuo reports, it may not ship at all due to low yield. Of course, Samsung would rather make its own chips at a lower cost than Qualcomm is charging for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 mobile platform. However, if Samsung's 3nm process doesn't have a great yield rate, Samsung can end up spending more time, money, and manufacturing resources on Exynos chips than it would've by simply paying Qualcomm. 

It's still fairly early in the rumor cycle for the Galaxy S25 series, and things can certainly be changed before the phones are officially announced, which isn't expected to happen until early 2025. But if it's true that the Exynos 2500 has bad yield rates, it makes sense that Samsung would pivot to going all-in on Snapdragon. After all, it did the same thing just a year ago. 


(Image credit: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.)

If anything, this just goes to show how far ahead TSMC really is in the chip manufacturing industry. Samsung has plenty of incentive to make a flagship Exynos chip with Qualcomm raising Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 prices. The higher build-of-materials cost would almost certainly be passed on to customers, which I'm sure buyers won't be thrilled about. By developing its own chips, Samsung could keep phone prices where they are while increasing profit margins.

But that only works if Samsung can make Exynos competitive and efficient to produce. It can't seem to do that if Kuo's report is accurate. The clear winners here are TSMC and Qualcomm, which appear to be leaving Samsung Foundry, Intel, and everyone else in the dust. 

Brady Snyder

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.