The next-generation Samsung Galaxy S7 flagship may be the first smartphone to launch with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 820, and will reportedly have exclusivity at first.
Rumors of a Galaxy S7 handset packing a Snapdragon 820 processor have been making rounds for quite some time now, especially since this year the relationship between Samsung and Qualcomm seemed to be going through a rough patch.
Even before the Galaxy S6 made its debut, rumors were hinting at overheating issues for the Snapdragon 810, suggesting that Samsung would ditch the chipset in favor of an in-house alternative. Those whispers turned out to be accurate, as Samsung skipped the Snapdragon 810 altogether and launched its latest flagships with Exynos processors instead.
With the Snapdragon 820 now close to hitting the market, the rumor mill shifted focus on whether or not Samsung would return to Qualcomm chipsets for its upcoming flagships. Several reports already claimed that the Galaxy S7 would boast the Snapdragon 820 under its hood, and the latest leak now bolsters such expectations.
The latest information is intriguing, to say the least. Surfaced on Weibo, it claims that not only will the Galaxy S7 be the first one to launch with the Snapdragon 820 processor, but it will also have exclusivity for it until April 2016.
It’s worth pointing out that this claim contradicts previous expectations that the Xiaomi Mi 5 will come as the first commercially available handset to rock the Snapdragon 820. If Samsung did snag the exclusive rights to the Snapdragon 820, however, Xiaomi may not have a say in the matter. This means that Xiaomi and other OEMs will have to wait patiently until April 2016 to launch their own Snapdragon 820-powered flagships.
When it comes to the Galaxy S7 launch, Samsung could unveil the device at the upcoming Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016 in February, planning a commercial release in March 2016 at the latest.
Samsung could equip part of its Galaxy S7 units with Snapdragon 820 processors, and the other half with Exynos chipsets, selling different variants based on region. The company already had this strategy in place before skipping the Snapdragon 810, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see it return to a similar scheme. The fact that Samsung is manufacturing the Snapdragon 820 in its own facilities, using 14nm FinFET notes, makes it even more likely that the Galaxy S7 will rock the new Qualcomm processor.
A few months of exclusivity for the Snapdragon 820 would likely be beneficial for Samsung, but might otherwise affect the mobile market as a whole. It could translate to a slower start in 2016, if other OEMs have to wait for that exclusivity to expire before launching their premium handsets.
Either way, keep in mind that this information is not officially confirmed, as neither Samsung nor Qualcomm made any comment yet in this regards. That said, take this news with a grain of salt.