There seems to be a wild rumor out there that Samsung will not actually use its own Exynos 5 Octa chip for the Galaxy S4, or any other of its Exynos chips, but a Snapdragon S600 for its entire line-up of Galaxy S4 models (including the international version). How credible is this? And if true, is Samsung making a mistake?
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First off, I don’t think this rumor is very credible, even if Samsung used a Snapdragon S4 for its US version of Galaxy S3. I think that was only because Samsung was unprepared for the LTE markets. They were caught off-guard, and Qualcomm weren’t, so they went with Qualcomm’s chips. Going with Snapdragons over Exynos in Galaxy S4 would also mean it would all but wipe out the Exynos chips from the market.
This leads me to my second point. Apple is going to switch the fabrication of its chips from Samsung to TSMC. That means Samsung’s chip division will soon get much less revenue, unless it starts selling more of its own chips, and licenses their fab to other chip makers like Qualcomm, Nvidia, etc.
The second part of that plan is a given, but the first part would really be the brilliant strategy for Samsung. I don’t know why Samsung hasn’t been using its own chips for most of its phones, and by that I mean even those mid-end and low-end smartphones, not just the high-end ones like Galaxy S series – but it’s about time they start doing that. Not only would they get more of that “integration” that Apple keeps talking about, by using their own chips, but it would also save them money, and also make them money for the chip division. So to me, switching even more phones over to Qualcomm doesn’t make much sense. Switching more phones to Exynos chips makes a lot more sense.
Perhaps if we were talking about the Snapdragon S800, that would be something, but S600 sounds like an S4 Pro at 1.7 Ghz to me, with the exact same GPU as the S4 Pro. Plus, HTC is already using it in their flagship “HTC One“. So where’s the differentiation there?
This is why this rumor makes little sense to me, but if it’s true, then it makes Samsung’s decision all that more puzzling.