There's been plenty of rumour circulating that Samsung has "first dibs" on the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset. Qualcomm however, talking at Mobile World Congress 2017, told us that there was no contractual exclusivity on the Snapdragon 835.
It was previously announced that Samsung would be manufacturing the new 10nm chips in partnership with Qualcomm and with the scheduling of the launch of the new Samsung Galaxy S8 moving slightly later in the year, it was assumed that this was the case - that Samsung would get to use the new hardware before anyone else.
Keith Kressin, senior vice president of product management at Qualcomm said that this isn't the case and that "there's nothing exclusive about a specific OEM [original equipment manufacturer]" and that the development cycle of the new chipset really comes down to supply and the launch strategy for the manufacturer, and there's "nothing structurally or contractually that would limit one from the other."
The OEM has to make the decision about what fits with its launch strategy for a new device the best: the LG G6, for example, has been announced on the Snapdragon 821, meaning LG can bring the device to market sooner, rather than waiting for later chipsets.
For those looking to use a newer chipset like the Snapdragon 835, pushing for a more immediate launch runs in conflict with the development cycle and the OEM would then have to decide whether to skip steps in testing and preparing the new hardware.
In 2017, the development cycle is running later than it has in previous years. For example, the Snapdragon 820 in 2016 saw devices launched in January 2016; for the Snapdragon 835 the cycle is running later and this isn't because Samsung gets exclusive rights.
Qualcomm also confirmed that when an OEM wanted to use a product, the order goes direct into Qualcomm, and Samsung has no say in that part of the process.
Sony announced the Sony ZX Premium at Mobile World Congress 2017, one of the first Snapdragon 835 devices to be announced, but the device isn't actually going to be launched until later in June 2017.
There are a number of flagship devices still to be launched: not only are we waiting for those Samsung phones to launch (and some will certainly be Exynos powered), but also a new flagship from HTC. The wait, it seems, continues.
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