Samsung Gobbles Up Nearly All Snapdragon 835 Supply For Galaxy S8 Launch

Keith Kressin Ben Suh Samsung
Given that Qualcomm recently announced the availability and details for its next-generation Snapdragon 835 SoC, we just assumed that the incoming 2017 class of flagships would all be using the chip (after all, this is traditionally what has occurred year after year). Well, you know what they say when you assume things…

However, 2017 is a new year and it looks as though there’s a shakeup in store for the status quo. It has been reported that Samsung has taken it upon itself to gobble up nearly all of Qualcomm’s initial Snapdragon 835 production. Samsung wants to ensure that it has an ample supply of the chips to fuel the likely voracious demand for its Galaxy S8 flagship. 

In fact, "the Snapdragon 835 won't be available in large quantities until after the Galaxy S8 launches," said one source to Forbes. According to the publication, the Galaxy S8 won’t launch until at least April 15th, which means that other smartphone manufacturers will be twiddling their thumbs for the next few months and will have to rely on the 2016-era Snapdragon 821.

Snapdragon 820 835 penny

So, the LG G6 unfortunately won’t be launching with a Snapdragon 835 according to this new information, and it also explains why the new HTC U Ultra is shipping with a Snapdragon 821.

Samsung has a tight relationship with Qualcomm, as the two cooperated on the design and production of the 10-nanometer SoC. This close partnership likely gave Samsung preferential treatment; not to mention its position as titan in Android smartphone sales and its plentiful cash pile.

As for LG, it doesn’t appear to be all that bent out of shape about its position. The company told Forbes that it would rather have a "proven SoC that they can test thoroughly than the latest, fastest.” The South Korean company also indicated that year-over-year improvements in SoC performance aren’t exactly earth-shattering anyway.