Qualcomm's handset partners rally around its embattled new chip


A group of major handset makers came to Qualcomm’s defense Monday, with Microsoft, Motorola Mobility, LG, Sony and others offering their support for the company’s new premium chip.


The chip, the Snapdragon 810, has faced a difficult start just as it’s coming to market in new devices. Qualcomm, the world’s biggest mobile-chips maker, disclosed last week that a major customer won’t be using the chip in its latest flagship device — widely believed to be Samsung’s new Galaxy S smartphone. That news came just after Bloomberg reported that Samsung was dropping the chip from that phone due to alleged overheating problems.

Looking to strengthen consumer confidence in the chip and refute the overheating concerns, Qualcomm on Monday released statements from half a dozen handset makers — including China’s Xiaomi and Oppo — who plan to use the chip in upcoming devices. The release comes a few days after Qualcomm said more than 60 devices will be using the 810.

“We’re excited about the new capabilities of the Snapdragon 810 processor,” Gen Tsuchikawa, chief strategy officer of Sony Mobile, said in a statement, “and are looking forward to working with Qualcomm Technologies as we bring new Xperia products to consumers later this year.”

Monday’s release was a departure from the usual rhythm of handset makers announcing new phones, along with the chips they will use, at varying times throughout the year. This time, those companies agreed to divulge a little about what they’re working on to bolster their long-time partner Qualcomm and one of its most important chips for this year.

LG executive Yongsu Choi said in an emailed statement Saturday that the LG G Flex 2 smartphone is already selling in Korea with the 810 inside.

“I heard there was concern about Snapdragon 810 overheats since last year,” he wrote. “But I think there can be some issues at [the] development stage and also that [those] kind of issues can be overcome by great engineers who never give up.”

Qualcomm, for its part, said last week that there is nothing wrong with its chip.

Samsung hasn’t said much publicly about its plans related to the expected Galaxy S phone, but may have decided to switch to its own Exynos chips as it develops more-advanced 14-nanometer chip technology. Qualcomm’s 810 uses 20-nanometer technology. A Samsung representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Qualcomm’s shares were up nearly 3 percent Monday, after tumbling about 12 percent at the end of last week.