During last year, Qualcomm’s share of the worldwide smartphone application processor market rose to 42 percent, helping the company remain firmly seated at the top in this market. At the same time, Samsung sold close to 50 million Exynos chips, reaching fourth place in market share and prompted some analysts to warn that Samsung was becoming a strong competitor for Qualcomm. However, at least for the time being, there seems to be no reason for Qualcomm to worry.
Snapdragon 820 Still Dominating
Recently it was announced by Samsung that their forthcoming mobile devices, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chipset, at least for units produced for the U.S. The use of Qualcomm’s chipset instead of its own shows the clear lack of confidence that Samsung has when it comes to its Exynos line of chipsets, at least for now.
In addition to the two Samsung devices, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chipset will also be incorporated into the smartphones of numerous producers, among them LG, HTC, Sony, Xiaomi, and maybe most importantly HP. HP’s newest smartphone based on Windows 10, Elite x3, will be powered by the Snapdragon 820.
Fixing Previous Mistakes
The top spot in the market share came to Qualcomm thanks to its investment in research in the field from the very start. The company’s previous chipset, the Snapdragon 810, had issues with overheating and power, and has as a result, caused Qualcomm to lose some market share after Samsung’s introduction of its Exynos chipset, which replaced the problematic Snapdragon 810 in Galaxy smartphones.
Qualcomm took notice and has worked on fixing the issues of power and overheating in its Snapdragon 820 chipset by replacing the ARM Cortex CPU cores with highly optimized and custom-built Kryo cores. In addition, Qualcomm’s previous chipset, the Snapdragon 810, was an octa-core processor. Considering that those processors do not always deliver better performance than a quad-core chip, but on the contrary can increase complications, Qualcomm has remedied the issue by lowering the core-count in Snapdragon 820 from eight to four.