The Samsung Galaxy S lineup has been one of the more successful smartphone series. In fact, the only other smartphone vendor that competes with Samsung is Apple. And here’s why it’s a bad thing.
The only manufacturer out the two that employes Qualcomm’s chips in their smartphones is Samsung. They also have their in-house Exynos processors to fall back on if Qualcomm ever fails to deliver. And we have seen it happen with the S6 and S6 edge series when the 810 SoCs failed on a few aspects of processing.
And when the Snapdragon SoCs actually worked, Samsung had dibs on the first batch of the 835 processors. It was for Samsung’s Galaxy S8 lineup for China and America. When this happened, all of the other manufacturers had to either fall back on their in-house SoCs (Huawei). For those that didn’t have an in-house SoC were forced to either wait (Sony) or use an older generation SoC (LG).
And the fact that it’s going to happen again with the Snapdragon 845 isn’t much of a motivation for others. Samsung will basically employ the new SoC in the USA and Chinese variants of the Galaxy S9. And the same thing will repeat with other manufacturers forcing them to find other alternatives.
Why is this bad? Because Samsung’s strategy to call dibs on SoCs even with their own set of in-house processors is disrupting the flagship release cycle for most manufacturers among other problems. This should needless to say stop but the galaxy phones are again one of the bigger clients for Qualcomm and if Samsung decides to tweak their SoCs and abandon Qualcomm, they will lose a lot of shipment volumes, which probably isn’t what Qualcomm wants either.
So what’s the conclusion to this? Nothing. As a consumer, we can do nothing and neither can the manufacturers. The options still remain for them to use other processor manufacturers like MediaTek but it would be too mediocre for expensive flagships. They can opt for in-house SoC production, but not all of them are equipped with enough resources to do so.