Qualcomm recently announced it would not supply the chips for a forthcoming flagship Android handset – believed to be the Samsung Galaxy S6 – and now the manufacturer has spoken out on the potential effects of the loss.
While neither Qualcomm nor Samsung has yet to confirm the switch, it has been widely reported that the Korean manufacturer has overlooked the latest Snapdragon 810 chip in favour of pushing forward with its own Exynos offerings.
Despite losing such a key contract, Qualcomm has remained relaxed about the loss, suggesting its relationship with the still nameless OEM will continue in other capacities.
“We don’t win every handset design with every OEM and that’s normal for us,” Tim McDonough, Qualcomm’s Vice President of Marketing said when questioned on the S6 rumours.
Speaking exclusively with TrustedReviews he added: “Our relationships with those customers are not defined by a single handset.
“If you take a big customer, we might have nine devices running in parallel. If they’ve got 10 and we’ve got nine because we’ve lost one, you still have a very deep relationship and you are still mutually invested in each other’s success.”
While refusing to shed light on the exact device or the nature of the breakdown, McDonough hinted that a potential timing issue could have cost Qualcomm the mooted S6 deal.
“If you miss the timing window for a particular handset or the timing window for a particular customer, or you take too long going from geography to geography rolling it out, that can be a make or break thing for them,” he told us.
Recent reports have suggested the Snapdragon 810 was hit by production delays as well as overheating issues, although Qualcomm recently spoke out to rubbish such claims.
Although remaining diplomatic on the lost contract, McDonough has suggested it will be difficult for any handset manufacturer to pursue its own chipset production plans.
“It’s a competitive market and people have to choose their path – such as do they vertically integrate,” he said.
“Some people have done that in the past and it’s had varying degrees of success depending on who has tried to do it, some people have succeeded, some people have failed.”
Looking at the potential pitfalls faced by OEMs ditching the Snapdragon platform, he added: “The advantages of our approach is very often scale, and scale translates to benefit in a few ways.
“One of the benefits of our scale is that we have our modem qualified across a broad range of vendors and across all of the carriers.”
With this widespread approval meaning Qualcomm can help “ship phones like Hollywood blockbusters” around the world simultaneously, according to McDonough.
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Despite the announced loss of a key handset causing Qualcomm to readdress its annual earnings predictions, the company VP has claimed it is not a major concern.
“The key is for us that we have a lot of customers and there are a lot of designs across all of the customers,” he said.
“We are proud of our products but we have a reasonable sense of humility and realise you don’t win every one all of the time. That’s normal. If you plan for having 100 per cent of everything, you’re going to be wrong very frequently.”