They say there’s no smoke without fire, and by the looks of it, the Snapdragon 810 overheating speculation smoke is hiding a potentially destructive fire for Qualcomm and the mobile industry as a whole.
That’s what you get when every OEM relies on a single top-tier chip maker, and it remains to be seen if underdogs like Nvidia or MediaTek will be able to capitalize on Qualcomm’s woes. Assuming they’re legit, which a trio of J.P. Morgan analysts are sealing with their word and reputation.
According to Gokul Hariharan, JJ Park and Rahul Chadha, and their “research” and inside sources, both the Snapdragon 615 and 810 processors are currently plagued by overheating issues. The S615, seen debuting under the hood of numerous mid-priced, upper mid-range Androids at CES is believed to be capable of coping with the glitches sans a factory return and lengthy repair.
Meanwhile, Qualcomm may have no choice but to recall S810 units, and work on them three more months to iron out all the kinks. Sounds bad, yet trust us, you wouldn’t want to own a phone with a Snapdragon 810 in the current alleged shape.
Apparently, the tiny, frugal but omnipotent octa-core 64-bit 20 nm-based CPUs can accelerate up to 1.2 – 1.4 GHz clock speeds without catching on fire, but once those rates are surpassed, there’s scalding and system crash danger. And let’s face it, a flagship chip running at 1.4 GHz is virtually useless.
Again, none of this is official and carved in stone, and Qualcomm may deny it any minute now. Or stick to their previous statement, which set the deadline for the end of H1 2015. That’s still attainable, mind you, since three months from February-March is May-June.
What’s extremely vexing is Samsung, HTC, Sony and even LG were tipped to roll out their next-gen spearheads by April, and the Galaxy S6, Hima, Xperia Z4 and G4 were all supposed to pack Snapdragon 810 heat.
Where does the delay leave them all? Well, Sammy could always take a chance on its in-house Exynos. At least temporarily. But HTC, Sony and LG will either have to wait, or look for alternatives in Nvidia or MediaTek’s camps. Hello there, Tegra X1. Nice to meet you too, MT6795.