Mar 28, 2017 03:07 PM EDT
Samsung Hurts As Qualcomm Blocks Exynos Sell, But Qualcomm Snapdragon Will Still Powered Galaxy S8
Samsung, the Korean electronics giant, is getting another heavy beating, but this time it's from the company's own mobile tech partner, Qualcomm. The US-based semiconductor giant has just blocked Samsung from selling its very own Exynos chips to other manufacturers. The South Korea's Fair Trade Commission has made the huge claim that Qualcomm and Samsung are having some serious patent licensing problem.
The Korean tech giant uses both the industry-leading Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile processor and its home-built Exynos chips for its Galaxy smartphone lines. Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and Samsung-built Exynos 9. Not just that, Samsung is also the biggest buyer of Qualcomm's mobile processors and also a contract maker of the mobile processors. But today, things are about to get nasty for the two companies.
According to the South Korea's Fair Trade Commission (via Hankyung news), the Korean-based Samsung has been prevented from selling its own Exynos mobile processor to manufacturers through a patent licensing deal with the American tech giant Qualcomm.
The original deal was first signed in 1993 and it allowed the Korean giant Samsung to make mobile phones with second-generation CDMA (Cellular Digital Multiple Access) patents. At that time, the deal has permitted Samsung to make modem-chips for use on its own handsets, but not on third parties.
By 2011, the technology world has undergone a huge facelift, this is the time when that manufacturer began to package modems, graphic processing units, and application processors together into one. Under pressure from increased competition and fast-evolving environment, Samsung decided to request some major change to the patent licensing contract that been signed in 2011, but this has resulted in unsuccessful talks. This means that Samsung is not allowed to sell its Exynos chips to other manufacturers due to the fact the modems were part of the chipsets, and still restricted by the 1993 deal which being agreed by both companies. The American tech giant claimed that buyers of Samsung's chipset must pay it licensing fees or the latter must take the burden of pay, to which the Korean giant has signed an agreement with Qualcomm and accepted the term of the deal.
Despite of its semiconductor business being held back by the Qualcomm's patent licensing terms, Samsung has still managed to benefit in other areas where Qualcomm dominated. This includes getting the first hand on the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, which gives the Korean manufacturer a competitive edge in the mobile market. The Korean tech giant uses both the industry-leading Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile processor and its home-built Exynos chips for its Galaxy smartphone lines. Samsung is currently the biggest buyer of Qualcomm's mobile processors and also a contract maker of the mobile processors.
According to Android Central, Qualcomm is no stranger when it comes to issues like this. The American tech giant has also faced similar legal action in the past, but this time it's from the US Federal Trade Commission. The company has been well-known in the tech circle for its abusive licensing practices. Qualcomm has already paid a whopping $975 million antitrust fine in China alone.