Exynos and Snapdragon AH

Exynos-Powered Galaxy S6 Flagships Equal Significantly Less Patent Cash For Qualcomm

April 16, 2015 - Written By Kristijan Lucic

Samsung’s recently announced Galaxy S6 flagships are powered by the company’s very own Exynos 7420 64-bit octa-core processor. This is the first mobile SoC out in the market which was made using the 14nm manufacturing process, and it’s significantly more power efficient than the competition. That being said, many people have been expecting those two devices to come in two variants, Samsung was expected to release a Snapdragon 810-powered Galaxy S6 as well, similar to what they did with both the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5 last year. That didn’t happen though, and there are several possible reasons for this. First of all, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 was accused of overheating a couple of times in the past and it just runs hotter than it should, besides, Samsung has finally resolved all issues with their Exynos chip and it seems like a really powerful piece of hardware now. This SoC basically blew away everything else in the benchmarks, and according to first reports, it’s running great on both the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge.

That being said, a new report from Business Korea brings some interesting information regarding this whole situation. The report says that approximately 110 components are used to build the Galaxy S6, which means there are about 30 more compared to the Galaxy S5. The Galaxy S6 actually uses a more expensive components like reinforced glass and aluminum. According to Techinsights, Galaxy S6’s components actually cost around $280, around 12% more than the ones used in the Galaxy S5. Considering the fact that the selling price of the Galaxy S6 has barely increased (compared to the Galaxy S5), the manufacturer is trying to cut the royalties. The factory prices of the Galaxy S6 are 858,000 won ($787) and 924,000 won ($848) for the 32 and 64GB variants of the device, respectively. In comparison, the 32GB model of the Galaxy S5 was available for 868,000 won ($797).

Speaking of cutting royalties, Qualcomm takes 2.5% to 5% of the selling price as its patent royalties, which means that Samsung managed to save that percentage by using its very own chip. To put things into perspective, Samsung has paid over 10 trillion won ($9.2 billion) to Qualcomm since they released the first Galaxy S handset back in 2010. Needless to say, such developments are putting a huge pressure on Qualcomm, that’s for sure. The company has lost probably its biggest customer this year, it remains to be seen what will happen when the Galaxy Note 5 launches, in other words, will Samsung turn to Qualcomm or will they again use only their Exynos chip to power that phablet.