Qualcomm has reported that it won’t be able to meet demands for its 28nm Snapdragon S4 chips until the end of this calendar year. What this means is that manufacturers that feature the S4 in their devices will have to scale down productions, and consumers will experience shortages in the devices that they want.
“Its slowing down production rates for a lot of the current Android models and is leading to a number of companies having to delay or scale down production of next generation models,” Chris Green, analyst for Davies Murphy Group Europe, told the BBC.
Despite having reportedly adding UMC and Samsung to their already established TSMC foundry, Qualcomm is having a hard time quenching the industry’s thirst for the popular 28nm CPU.
Meeting demands won’t be Qualcomm’s only problem, as it may also face the possibility that manufacturers will find an alternative to the S4 in the future. Samsung recently bought out two companies that specialize in connectivity technologies—UK’s CSR and Sweden’s Nanoradio. These moves by Samsung have led a number of analysts to suspect that Samsung is making a move at developing a Qualcomm alternative.
Samsung currently employs various Qualcomm chip elements in their devices and Apple’s iPhones. Qualcomm will experience a huge loss if Samsung decides to suddenly pull the plug on the Qualcomm design.
Despite speculations of alternatives to Qualcomm’s technologies in the future, Qualcomm’s chief executive, Paul Jacobs, believes that companies like Samsung won’t invest to produce alternatives to Qualcomm’s technologies.
"Do people for their own internal uses have enough scale to invest at the same rate we do? The answer is generally no,” he said.