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Samsung Drops Qualcomm in Favor of Via Technologies for Droid “Charge” Phone

Tags: Samsung (005935.KS), VIA Technologies (TPE:2388), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM)

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Press release

In what ABI Research sees as a significant shift in component sourcing strategy, Samsung has chosen Taiwanese vendor Via Technologies to supply the CDMA chipset for new Droid "CHARGE" handset that it is supplying to the US market via Verizon. This may represent the first salvo of a market assault on Qualcomm's long-undisputed command of CDMA markets in the US and elsewhere. In addition to the Via Technologies CDMA chip, Samsung is using its own proprietary baseband chip for the LTE.

According to vice president of engineering James Mielke, "We have been following Samsung's decision-making closely for some time, and we see a trend towards using suppliers from closer to home, in the East-Asia region. For example, the RF for both CDMA and LTE in this phone is supplied by Korean vendor FCI."

This represents Via Technologies' first venture into the CDMA market in the United States, although ABI Research believes versions of this phone will ship into all of Samsung's CDMA markets worldwide.

"While the choice of Via Technologies is not critical if restricted to this one model," Mielke continues, "if a similar switch away from Qualcomm chipsets occurred across all Samsung's CDMA phone models, it would represent a real challenge to the market's status quo."

ABI Research's "Samsung DROID CHARGE Teardown" report provides detailed photos, process evaluation, and part descriptions for all of the major components such as power amplifier, power management, baseband processor, RF, Bluetooth, GPS, WiLAN, and many discretes. Tying all this information together are unique circuit board photos, performance measurements, cost information, and board area data.

It is one of hundreds of devices and components - phones, baseband processors, power management, RF modules, connectivity components, application processors, sensors, and RF and power management discretes - that are torn down and analyzed in the firm's Mobile Device Teardown Service.


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