The past year has shaken up the mobile industry a bit when it comes to chips in some of the most popular smartphones, starting with Google’s Pixel 6 getting its own Tensor chip. Now, Samsung claims to be working on a “unique” chipset for Galaxy smartphones.
Samsung Mobile President TM Roh apparently said in a town hall meeting recently that the company is working on creating a new app processor “unique” to Galaxy smartphones. korean post iNews24 says Roh said Samsung will “create a single point of access for the Galaxy” last month in response to an employee asking how the recent Samsung throttling controversy would be resolved.
There’s very little context to Roh’s statement at this point, and there are certainly more questions than answers about Samsung’s plans.
As it stands, Samsung produces its own chipsets under the Exynos brand. These chips are technically available to all Android manufacturers, they’re just not as commonly used as their Snapdragon or MediaTek counterparts. Samsung Galaxy smartphones make up the bulk of the use of the Exynos chipset, but the chips ultimately aren’t designed exclusively for Samsung phones. Exynos chips are actually produced by Samsung Electronics LSI, a separate company from Samsung Mobile.
Reports from the past two days have revealed the impact of Samsung’s “Game Optimizing Service” (GOS) debacle earlier this year. Recent Samsung smartphones have been revealed to come with a service that throttles thousands of apps according to some tests, although Samsung claims the tool was only used to optimize game performance and prevent overheating, among others.
An update has since been rolled out to allow users to disable GOS, but Samsung’s reputation has been damaged in some markets, including its home country of South Korea. A report has revealed that Samsung and its partners have increased deals and subsidies on the Galaxy S22 series to avoid a drop in sales amid the controversy.
Samsung undoubtedly makes some of the best smartphones on the market today, but a sour note about most of the company’s flagship releases is that Exynos-powered models in parts of the world are often plagued with bugs and issues that are not present on Snapdragon models. . This has been a sore point between Samsung and some of its biggest fans for years.
Although I personally think the GOS controversy is very overblown, I can also see how it has such a big impact on Samsung fans. A good comparison comes to mind with Apple’s battery debacle of a few years ago, where older iPhones were found to deliberately limit performance as the phone’s battery aged, which caused a massive backlash. Given the popularity of Samsung phones in Korea, it’s easy to see why the GOS secrecy felt like a betrayal, much like Apple’s situation.
That said, a new chipset sounds like an odd solution. Samsung already manufactures chipsets under its Exynos brand, and it’s hard to see where a new chip would solve this problem. After all, Samsung throttled the Exynos 2200, which was supposed to be its big gaming-focused version, as well as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Qualcomm’s chips are widely considered the best in the business when it comes to consistency, so it’s hard to imagine that a possible Exynos spin-off could suddenly push Samsung past Qualcomm.
Either way, it will certainly be interesting to see where Samsung goes down this path.
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