Qualcomm to Return to Custom CPUs for Future Snapdragon Chips
During the conference call, Mollenkopf said that a major customer had decided against using Qualcomm's chip, but declined to say which customer it was or what the customer's problems were. "We now expect that our Snapdragon 810 processor will not be in the upcoming design cycle of a large customer's flagship device, impacting our outlook for both volume and content in that device," he said."The 810 is actually doing quite well," he said. "Any concerns about the 810 in terms of design traction really are probably limited to one OEM versus anything else." Mollenkopf said that along with the issue with the larger customer, other challenges the company is seeing helped reduce Qualcomm's outlook for the second half of the company's fiscal year, including "a shift in share among OEMs at the premium tier, which has reduced the near term addressable opportunity for our Snapdragon processors and has skewed our product mix towards more modem chipsets in this tier." There also is increased competition in the mid and high tiers of the market in China, which is slowing the market share gains Qualcomm officials had expected. "This is in part due to some product challenges with one of our chips in meeting some of the more demanding design points of those tiers," he said. "This has provided an opening to competitors who are being very aggressive in order to establish a position in the marketplace, resulting in more pricing pressure than previously expected." The issue of the major customer pulling back from the Snapdragon 810 adds to the hurdles. However, the CEO cautioned against reading too much into that situation. While the customer may not use a Qualcomm chip in its latest flagship device, it still has other systems in its portfolio. In addition, he noted the other 60-plus design wins for the Snapdragon 810 and said Qualcomm was about to panic. "I don't think we see any change in strategy, and we're quite pleased with that device," Mollenkopf said. "We just wish it had won one more design."
Despite that, Mollenkopf said he is pleased with performance of the Snapdragon 810.