Samsung Electronics has reportedly decided not to use its own application processor inside its next-generation Galaxy S IV flagship Google Android smartphone, but utilize a performance-mainstream system-on-chip from Qualcomm. In case Samsung’s decision is real, then the Galaxy S IV will be considerably less revolutionary than it originally was expected to be.
Samsung Galaxy S IV (model GT-I9500) will be based on Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T application processor (quad-core Qualcomm Krait 300 microprocessor, Adreno 320 graphics core, 32-bit dual-channel LPDDR3 memory controller, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, no baseband/modem), not multi-core Exynos chip with ARM Cortex-A7 and A15 cores, as it was initially expected, reports SamMobile web-site. This is not the first report about the company’s intention not to use its latest Samsung Exynos Octa inside the Galaxy S4 smartphone, however, exact reasons remain unclear.
Another interesting news is that Samsung Galaxy S IV will utilize full-HD (1920*1080) 4.99” LCD display with SoLux backlighting, but not Super AMOLED+ or bendable OLED as expected a while ago. According to the report, Samsung’s LCD factories were ready to produce 1080p panels for smartphones already in early 2013, whereas Samsung’s AMOLED factory had many problems with the production of full-HD AMOLED screens.
The decision to use Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 system-on-chip may be logical, as it will be the most powerful mobile application processor available in Q1 2013. However, it is obvious that Snapdragon 800 will not only feature 20% higher performance thanks to increased clock-speed, but will also have integrated baseband capabilities, something that allows smartphone makers to reduce manufacturing costs, shrink size of printed circuit boards inside smartphones and therefore increase physical space for battery.
Given the fact that Galaxy S smartphones are highest-end handsets by Samsung, it is illogical not to use the highest-performing chip among the announced since rivals like LG Electronics or HTC can quickly adopt the better-performing SoC once it becomes available and steal sales from Samsung's top-of-the-range offering. On the other hand, Snapdragon 800 will be made using much more advanced 28nm high-performance mobile (28HPM) process technology at TSMC, which may result into slower ramp-up and inability to ship the product in volume.
While Samsung Galaxy S IV may not be as revolutionary as originally expected, it will still be powerful, as, according to the report, it will feature 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM, 13MP camera and 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage. The phone is projected to be made of plastic and aluminum as well as feature removable battery. The handset is expected to be available in white and black.
It should be noted that the report about Samsung’s intention to use Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chip as well as LCD display with SoLux backlighting in the next-gen Galaxy S4 smartphone does not mean ditching own Exynos and super AMOLED+ completely. Historically, Samsung did use Qualcomm system-on-chip inside Galaxy S-series in some regions and utilized Exynos family application processors inside smartphones for other regions.
Samsung did not comment on the news-story.