The Qualcomm Snapdragon 836 had been expected to launch in the second half of 2017, and be the brains behind Google's new Pixel smartphones. However, it now appears that the processor has been delayed until 2018. And according to Evleaks, it may go through a rebranding and become a different SoC. This is why the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 are going to be running on the Snapdragon 835 chipset instead of the Snapdragon 836.
Snapdragon 836 was rumored to mostly be an overclocked version of the Snapdragon 835 that was launched earlier this year. That was no huge surprise, considering the fact that is what Qualcomm has done in years past, including last year with the Snapdragon 821 – which was only present in a handful of smartphones. And with the Snapdragon 835 already being a pretty impressive processor for Qualcomm, there's no real reason for them to out a new processor – especially one that is such an incremental upgrade. Qualcomm will likely bring it out in the very early part of 2018 to bridge the gap until the Snapdragon 845 is actually available. Since the Snapdragon 835 was delayed earlier this year, and no smartphones with the processor actually launched until April (with the Galaxy S8 being first), it caused a good number of smartphones to stick with the older Snapdragon 821. So Qualcomm might as well get a bit more life out of the Snapdragon 835 before it is deemed "old".
At this point, it's not clear whether the Snapdragon 836 has indeed been cancelled, as was reported a few months ago, but it may never be revealed as the Snapdragon 836. Considering Evleaks did mention that it could go under a rebranding of sorts, there is possibility that it could debut as the Snapdragon 840, ahead of the Snapdragon 845, of course that's all speculation at this point. Qualcomm is slated to announce something new around CES, however, as that is when the Snapdragon 835 was actually officially announced. And the company does typically launch new silicon every year or so. It's still really unclear how much of an upgrade the Snapdragon 836 was going to be, but many feel that it would just be an overclocked Snapdragon 835.