Phone

Samsung forcing rivals to use older processors by hoarding Snapdragon 835 supply

A new report published and corroborated by multiple sources today claims that Samsung is hoarding the bulk of the Snapdragon 835’s supply and is thus essentially forcing its competitors to use the older Snapdragon 821 processor for their new smartphones. Qualcomm’s next-generation processor is being manufactured by Samsung and it’s highly likely that the Galaxy S8 will be the first smartphone to tout the new silicon.

The report mentions that Samsung is going to release the Galaxy S8 on April 14 and that no Android smartphone released before then will feature the Snapdragon 835 processor. It points to the LG G6 and the HTC U Ultra as examples, both of them are powered by the Snapdragon 821.

To be fair, there’s hasn’t been an independent head-to-head performance comparison of the Snapdragon 821 and the 835 yet so it’s unclear just how much better the new processor really is. The Snapdragon 821 has demonstrated its robust performance in fairly recent devices like the Google Pixel phones and the OnePlus 3T. One Android smartphone manufacturer told The Verge that it’s confident working with the 2016 processor while another said that the Snapdragon 835 was never going to be ready for the yearly early-spring refresh of many Android handsets.

Be that as it may, Samsung’s production deal with Qualcomm appears to have given it a slight edge over its rivals even though the company normally maintains a strict separation between its consumer and component manufacturing divisions. Forbes speculates that “Samsung has first dibs” on the Snapdragon 835 as its production deal has helped the company take in the earliest supply of the 835 therefore leaving little or none for other Android manufacturers. Enthusiasts who always want the latest and greatest tech in their handsets would inevitably turn towards the Galaxy S8.

As it stands, it appears that Samsung will be the first manufacturer to put a Snapdragon 835-powered handset on the market. Those who want one from another manufacturer may have to wait until the summer when supply of the 835 picks up.

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