Qualcomm's application processor (AP) Snapdragon will be mounted on Samsung Electronics’ foldable smartphone Galaxy Fold. It is unusual for Samsung Electronics to use Snapdragon instead of its AP Exynos in all Galaxy Fold phones, both for domestic users and overseas customers in the North American and Chinese markets.
According to the semiconductor industry on March 8, the Korean tech giant has selected Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 instead of its Exynos 9820 as the AP in the Galaxy Fold. The Snapdragon 855 is produced by TSMC in Taiwan at a 7 nm process, while the Exynos 9820 is produced at Samsung foundry’s 8nm process. This is different from the Galaxy S10 series, which use 7-nanometer and 8-nanometer CPUs.
Unlike the Galaxy S10 series that was released on the same day and is already in official sales and the 4G model that will be released in April, the Galaxy Fold 5G model will be released after May. This is because Qualcomm will be selling its new 5G modem chip X50 and AP as early as in May. Qualcomm is believed to have matched the timing of commercialization of the American carrier Verizon's 5G smartphone. LG Electronics' 5G smartphone launch date has been delayed for the same reason.
Experts analyzed that Samsung has taken these measures to achieve the best performance of the Galaxy Fold, its very first foldable device. According to professional media Anandtech’s recent AP performance test (benchmark) performed by the PC Mark, the Exynos 9820 scored 7,867 points in the web browsing test, lower than Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 (9,177 points) and Huawei's Kirin 980 (10,230 points).
In addition, Samsung seems to have considered that since the Galaxy Fold is only a pilot product, the advantage of vertical integration is not significant. Koh Dong-jin, head of the IM division of Samsung Electronics, has set this year’s sales target for the foldable phone at 1 million units. This is one-40th of Galaxy S10’s annual sales forecast of 40 million units. The Galaxy Fold is also known to be equipped with Sony’s image sensor, not Samsung’s Isocell.