With Galaxy S8, Samsung is forcing its competitors to use aging hardware

Samsung is hoarding the newest Qualcomm smartphone processors, and making sure no one else gets to use them until the release of its Galaxy S8, according to a leak from Forbes.

Its upcoming flagship phone will be powered by the Snapdragon 835, which Qualcomm claims to be more powerful, provide better battery life, stronger LTE and Wi-Fi speeds, graphics rendering, and camera performance, when compared to the older processors available to Samsung’s competition.

“The Snapdragon 835 won’t be available in large quantities until after the Galaxy S8 launches,” an unnamed source told Forbes.

HTC caught flak earlier this month when it revealed its upcoming flagship phone, the U Ultra, would be powered by the Snapdragon 821. But it now seems the Taiwanese company had no other choice but to use the only relevant processor available to it.

That means Samsung’s fellow South Korean rival LG will also debut its G6 in February with the same processor powering the Google Pixel, a phone released back in October. Five months may not seem like a long time, but it’s an eternity in the fast-moving mobile industry.

It’s important to note that even with the improvements it may gain from the new processor, Samsung’s device could still fall behind those of its Android foes. Sure, a performance boost and improved battery usage would come in handy, but there are many other factors that determine the level of optimization found within each aspect of a device—newer doesn’t necessarily mean better.

Of course, there will be a reviewer or two smitten by the slight performance gains the 835 is expected to offer over the 821. But it was always going to be the case that if HTC and LG want to beat Samsung’s immensely popular Galaxy device: It will not be in a sprint, but in the unique paths they choose to reach the finish line.

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is a former technology staff writer at the Daily Dot. He's an expert on smartphones, social media trends, and gadgets. He previously reported on IoT and telecom for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.