Samsung is reportedly seeking to extend its Exynos mobile processors to other smartphones by selling them to third-party phone makers, DigiTimes reported Wednesday, citing industry sources. The move is supposedly part of a broader goal to grow the South Korean tech giant's share in the mobile device chip market, with a major focus on mid-range handsets. Samsung will hence directly take on Qualcomm and MediaTek, with the latter being expected to be the biggest target of the expansion. The Seoul-based tech giant may start offering its chips to third-party Android OEMs as early as this year, as per the same report.
Apart from its goal to expand the adoption rate of its Exynos-series SoC offerings, the South Korean original equipment manufacturer is also likely aiming to respond to the stagnating demand in global smartphone shipments. More specifically, Samsung's smartphone sales are expected to drop this year, according to a recent report by Strategy Analytics. The market research firm released a forecast in December that projected the phone maker will hit a market share of approximately 20.5 percent in 2018. In other words, Samsung is expected to ship around 319 million smartphone units this year. Due to that turn of events, it only makes sense for Samsung to expand its focus to other markets such as the smartphone processor segment, though the company is currently trailing other market giants such as Qualcomm and MediaTek, with the former having dominated the smartphone chip market during the third quarter of 2017.
While it's unclear what steps Samsung will take to boost its share in the smartphone SoC market, the company has been aggressively investing in its mobile flash memory business in recent years. Last July, Samsung began expanding its NAND flash memory operations amid a growing demand worldwide, helping the company to outpace Intel as the world's largest chipmaker during the second quarter of 2017. Then in August, the company has announced that it plans to invest a total of $7 billion into its NAND flash memory manufacturing operations in China over the next few years with the goal of refitting facilities, expanding factories, and hiring new employees. More similar efforts by the firm are expected in the medium term.