Smartphones being released in early 2017 are unlikely to feature the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor; and it’s all Samsung’s fault. Information leaked from the industry reveals that the South Korean company is using up the lion’s share of the new chips, which leaves extremely limited quantities for everyone else.
Forbes reported the situation after investigating the HTC U Ultra’s lack of next generation processor. The information was also later confirmed by The Verge, who discovered the same extended partnership between Qualcomm and Samsung.
Samsung is currently manufacturing the Snapdragon 835 for Qualcomm, and it traditionally keeps the devices and electronics businesses separate. In fact, Samsung is generally known for using its own Exynos chips in flagship smartphones and tablets. However, Samsung is also known for using Snapdragon processors in products destined for the US market.
There is a chance that the Snapdragon 835 shortage is a sign of Samsung deciding against the Exynos for the upcoming Galaxy S8; although that would largely be speculation at this point.
For now, it is impossible to know why Samsung needs so many Snapdragon processors. On the other hand, this also means that many other manufacturers will be introducing new devices fitted with the older Snapdragon 821 instead. Something that could put them on the back foot when it comes to competing with Samsung’s upcoming offerings.