It’s no secret that the relationship between Samsung and Apple has gotten colder, especially after the big lawsuit between the two, that Samsung lost. But this may end up as a good thing for the Android ecosystem, as it means that Samsung will not only allow other chip makers to use their fab (like Qualcomm, Nvidia, etc), but they will also start selling their Exynos chips to more phone manufacturers.
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We should also see Samsung use its own chips a lot more, as right now they’re barely using them, even in their flagship Galaxy S or Note devices. Samsung’s chip and mobile businesses are separate, which creates a pretty strange situation where the mobile business is just another “customer” of the chip business, and Samsung hasn’t tried to deeply integrate their Exynos chips in every single one of their devices, like Apple has done so far. In fact its chip business has been manufacturing chips mostly for others, rather than for Samsung.
But we should start seeing a change of strategy, now that they will lose Apple as customer (gradually, in the next few years). We will see Samsung accept Nvidia and Qualcomm as their customers, even for PC chips in Nvidia’s case, but most importantly Samsung will be integrating these chips into more of their phones, from the low-end to the high-end, where even now they are using chips from TI, Qualcomm and even Nvidia.
We should also see chips like the Exynos 5 Octa land in devices from HTC, LG, Asus or Motorola. The nice thing about that is that if you really want Samsung’s chip, but don’t care that much about Samsung’s plastic builds, AMOLED displays, or Touchwiz interface, then you could get a device from other manufacturer.
Although Samsung is looking to buy radio modem companies and technologies, they aren’t really interested in integrating modems into their chips right now, and they’d rather let these companies customize the chip with whatever modem they want. This shouldn’t be a problem for Samsung as long as they make sure their devices aren’t arriving later than they should on the market, and they are just as energy efficient as the ones using Qualcomm’s chips with integrated modems.
Samsung says their latest Exynos 5 Octa chip should be up to 70% more efficient thanks to its quad-core Cortex A7 cluster, that should be used most of the time inside a phone – which does mean it should make the phone a lot more efficient overall, while when you’re doing some heavy browsing and 3D gaming, it will activate the more powerful quad-core Cortex A15 cluster, for maximum performance. It should definitely make for one of the most competitive chips on the market this year.