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

Research News

New York, New York - 13 Jul 2011

In what ABI Research sees as a significant shift in component sourcing strategy, Samsung has chosen Via Telecom to supply the CDMA chipset for new Droid “CHARGE” handset that it is providing 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 Telecom 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 Telecom's 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 Telecom 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.

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 40+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.