Rebuffed: Samsung begged Qualcomm for more smartphone chips

Rebuffed: Samsung begged Qualcomm for more smartphone chips

Snapdragon 888
© Qualcomm

Like many other manufacturers, Samsung is struggling with the chip crisis. As one of the largest manufacturers, there is a correspondingly great need, but apparently even the smartphone boss of the group flashed off during his visits to Snapdragon supplier Qualcomm.

As the Korean portal The Elec reports, TM Roh, who has been in charge of Samsung Electronics’ most important business area – namely the smartphone division – for some time, apparently visited the US chip company Qualcomm several times this year at its headquarters in San Diego. He should probably lead negotiations there so that Qualcomm supplies more Snapdragon SoCs to Samsung .

Samsung is looking for chip inventories the same way other manufacturers do

Roh’s mission apparently failed. In March and also in July, the head of Samsung Mobile even flew to the United States to hold talks “with a large chip manufacturer”. Although Qualcomm is not explicitly identified as the person Roh visited in the USA, there is no other chip company based there that supplies Samsung with chips for mobile devices on a large scale.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
The Galaxy S21 SE (unofficial image) is said to be equipped with Snapdragon SoC again. / © EvanBlass/Twitter

In any case, the US partner was allegedly not willing, despite the multiple visits of the senior manager from Korea, to favor the electronics giant in its chip deliveries or to increase the quantities as hoped. Samsung must therefore also carefully consider which smartphone models to equip with the available chips, after all, there is also a lot of strategy behind the business.

Recently, it has become apparent, among other things, that Samsung could even completely cancel the launch of the “Fan Edition” model of the Galaxy S21 series, which had actually been planned for months, after several postponements. The Galaxy S21 FE was developed some time ago, but mass production has not yet been tackled on a large scale. The launch is currently even on the brink, because Samsung prefers to equip the prestigious smartphones of the new Galaxy Z series with Qualcomm ‘s high-end SoCs , which should actually also be used in the FE model.


The curious thing about Samsung’s troubles is that the Korean giant is actually the maker of the Snapdragon 888 itself. Because Qualcomm does not have its own production, the company traditionally has its chips built by contract manufacturers. And this is exactly the task Samsung’s semiconductor division takes on in the case of the Snapdragon 888 for Qualcomm. However, Samsung Semiconductor works separately from Samsung Mobile, so that the group actually produces the chips itself, but ultimately has to buy them from Qualcomm itself.

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