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1 Billion Android Phones Have Shipped With Qualcomm Snapdragon Processors

Qualcomm is currently hosting their Uplinq conference down in San Francisco, where the keynote is happening live as I type this. Tim is on hand during the keynote, where CEO Steve Mollenkopf just announced that over one billion Android phones have shipped running their Snapdragon chipsets. That, my friends, is a ton of phones. 

Years ago, when Android was just taking off, we had multiple chipset players in the game, from Texas Instruments’ and their OMAP to NVIDIA’s Tegra to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon and of course, Samsung’s Exynos (previously called Hummingbird). Now, the majority of phones all ship with Qualcomm processors and modems. Samsung still pushes its Exynos line overseas, but the rest of the players have either given up or never been able to make a big splash. Texas Instruments stepped away from phones and tablets a couple of years back, while NVIDIA was too late to the LTE game to get its processors in phones. They have done OK at times in the tablet game, and have signed on to power the new HTC Nexus 9 tablet, but their focus seems to have ultimately shifted out of the phones for now.

Qualcomm remains the leader, a title they likely won’t give up any time soon.

1 billion. Woof.

  • buckley101

    So sick of all the undereducated android fanboy opinions. Qualcomm obviously has the best SoC on the market and this clearly shows.

  • Hugh G Rection

    We need more competition among mobile processors.

  • cg


    I own that and bought an iSmooth USB 3.0 cable. Ten year warranty on both the cable and charger, and customer service is excellent. (I don’t work for them…I just own the products.)

    Ten bucks more than this credit card sized waste of space…I love the concept, but the charging blows.

  • Poor Galaxy nexus

  • Capt. Crunch

    It’s kind of disappointing that qualcomm has so much market share. Sure they make great mobile chips, but i would love to see some more competition from Intel, nVidia and possibly even AMD. Competition drivers innovation.

  • wmsco1

    The Qualcomm has the 810 64 bit chip in first quarter 2015 to be seen in next year’s phones. Some phones already have the 64 bit but has been shut down to 32 bit.

  • Asmodai

    I’m not so sure Qualcomm is well positioned for the coming 64bit era. It’s true they dominated 32bit Android but I haven’t even seen strong rumors for a new 64bit SoC to replace Krait so it’s likely over a year from being in shipping devices. What 64bit offerings they do have in the pipeline are all just licensed ARM Cortex designs which gives them ZERO advantage over the competition. nVidia FINALLY seems to be on top of things with their new custom 64bit Tegra K1. Samsung is already shipping 64bit Cortex based SoCs in the Exynos 5433. I’m not saying Qualcomm won’t win but I wouldn’t say “a title they likely won’t give up any time soon.” either. There is writing on the wall that they could very well stumble during the 64bit transition, it’s far too early to tell.

    • koopadoop

      Or what happens when the leader in processors finally gets serious and decides they want to do to phones what they did to PCs and servers?

    • buckley101

      You’ve obviously never taken a computer architecture class in your life. 64-bit processors have slower latency, but more throughput. Unless you’re transferring big data, which you’re not using a phone, 32-bit is faster. Stop influencing people who don’t know any better, because obviously you fall for marketing strategies (more cores is better, etc).

      • Asmodai

        Actually I have. While what you say may be true with all other things being equal ARM took the opportunity to streamline and improve the architecture in the move to 64bit. As a result an ARMv8 chip runs significantly faster than an ARMv7 even when restricted to AArch32 mode. In fact Samsung’s Exynos 5433 SoC is a 64bit chip that they are running in 32bit mode to take advantage of those improvements. Maybe you should do a little research before you try to call someone out.

        • buckley101

          I wasn’t aware of this. Either way I’d take a Qualcomm soc anyday over anything else. The whole package is just better quality that you can trust. I trust they’re doing the right things and they are. They’ve also announced their 64bit architecture soc. The 810 and 808

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    • Josh

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  • AbbyZFresh

    i hope intel has something to get back in the game.

    • T4rd

      Indeed, though they haven’t really been in the mobile phone game much. Only phone I know of with an Intel chip is the Razr i (same as the Razr M, just with an Intel SoC). But qualcomm definitely needs more competition in the mobile arena.

      • Hugh G Rection

        Their atom processors they put in windows tablets isn’t bad. Hope they can do something to bring those to phones.

  • T4rd

    They’ve pretty much dominated the market since OMAP left the game. Still annoys me that they left without every releasing the OMAP 5 after promising they would still launch it. Qualcomm had been trailing TI in performance up until the S4 series was released.

  • Chipster

    How long until Qualcomm roles out a 64-bit chip? Like Apple had 18 months ago?

    • T4rd

      Last month: http://www.anandtech.com/show/8434/htc-announces-desire-510-first-64bit-android-phone

      iPhone 5S has been out for 18 months..? I count 12.

      • Asmodai

        Perhaps he meant “How long until Qualcomm roles out their own 64bit CPU design?”
        Every 64bit SoC Qualcomm has even announced uses ARM designed Cortex cores that they license. Where is the 64bit successor to their custom Krait cores. One of the strengths of Qualcomm was they had their own custom designed cores and didn’t just license the same ARM design as everyone else. So far licensing the 64bit ARM design is all they’ve shown.

    • nside1

      Does 64-bit matter? Not too much for computers (unless using more than 4gb of ram), I can’t imagine it does for phones at this point.

      • Asmodai

        You have a poor imagination then. 64bit applications aren’t going to come before the hardware to run them. Pointing to the fact there isn’t currently anything that needs it is just silly. More hardware opens up completely new possibilies that simply don’t exist now. As for the RAM thing 3GB is becoming pretty common right now for “flagship” devices so 4GB+ isn’t that far off. Even though no single mobile app is likely to need that much right away the OS can split it between multiple apps and if there is still RAM left over it could cache frequently used data (apps, media, etc.)

    • Shawn John

      Ummn… Qualcomm rolled out a 64bit chip 1st Quarter of this year, Snapdragon 410, don’t take my word for it, read it here https://www.qualcomm.com/products/snapdragon/processors/410

    • koopadoop

      Yea Apple is def pushing the limits of 32bit with their 1GB of ram…

      • S E

        Who needs ram when you have an efficient operating system? Bad code = Big code.

  • possomcrast1

    It’s funny, because for a while Snapdragon processors became secondary to Samsung and Nvida’s efforts. Then they re-worked and made arguably the most efficient and powerful processors on the market.

    • Supraman21

      And now I’d say they are pretty stagnate. They need more competition.

      • possomcrast1

        True, I guess, but as many people are saying mobile technology has plateaued. It has reached the point where to go any further would be unneeded at this time.

        • Shawn John

          That’s the same thing they said about desktops in the early 90’s, it will keep evolving, soon our phones will be orbs that float beside us follow us around awaiting on orders. But seriously, the next phone that has magentic resonance charging somewhat like XLTE, will be the deal closer, the next phone to boast NO WIRED CHARGING, will change the game. The technology is their for our phones to charge from kinetic energy, not sure why were still plugging in phone chargers hugging outlets.

  • You know what’s cooler than a billion phones?

    • Menger40

      You know what’s cool? A trillion phones.

      • Freaking love that movie.