On Wednesday, Feb. 20, Samsung (NASDAQOTH:SSNLF) unveiled a host of new flagship smartphones. For the bulk of the premium market, the company introduced its main Galaxy S10 family of devices, consisting of the Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy S10+, in ascending order of price, size, and features.
The company also introduced the Galaxy S10 5G, an even higher-end smartphone with 5G connectivity, an even bigger screen, and a rear-facing 3D-sensing camera. And Samsung announced the Galaxy Fold, the company's first foldable smartphone.
Qualcomm's 5G boost
As is usually the case, Qualcomm's latest flagship Snapdragon applications processor -- in this case, the Snapdragon 855 -- powers certain versions of these new devices. According to AnandTech, Samsung is using the Snapdragon 855 for the Galaxy S10 devices sold in North and Latin America, China, and Japan. In the rest of the world, Samsung is using its home-grown Exynos 9820 applications processor.
Additionally, AnandTech says that the Galaxy Fold is using Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 exclusively.
I also wouldn't be surprised if the Galaxy S10 5G -- which, admittedly, is probably going to be a relatively niche device -- uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50 5G modem, too.
Qualcomm already has a strong position in Samsung's Galaxy S series and Note series smartphones, so the fact that Samsung is using the Snapdragon 855 heavily across its lineup isn't necessarily a game changer. However, it's still good to see that Qualcomm continues to have a strong position in Samsung's flagship lineup.
TSMC's big win
Over the last several years, Qualcomm has relied exclusively on Samsung to manufacture its flagship Snapdragon applications processors. However, TSMC won the contract to build Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 855 applications processors using the former's latest 7-nanometer technology.
Qualcomm is the largest merchant vendor of mobile applications processors and dominates the merchant market for premium mobile applications processors with its Snapdragon 800 series devices. Since Samsung's latest smartphones use the Snapdragon 855 for the variants sold into key regions like North America, TSMC stands to financially benefit as the Galaxy S10 product cycle progresses.
Broadcom's Wi-Fi 6
Broadcom, which makes a pretty penny selling Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connectivity chips into premium smartphones, announced that Samsung is using its latest BCM4375 chip in the latter's newest Galaxy S10 series smartphones.
Although this doesn't represent new business for Broadcom -- Samsung has historically used Broadcom's latest Wi-Fi chips in its flagship smartphones -- this, too, seems like a validation of the quality and capabilities of Broadcom's premium smartphone connectivity chips.
It's also worth noting that Broadcom's largest mobile Wi-Fi chip customer, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), is likely to adopt the BCM4375 or some Apple-specific derivative of the chip in its iPhones that'll launch later this year. If the BCM4375 is priced higher than Broadcom's previous flagship Wi-Fi chips (something that wouldn't be surprising, as Broadcom has often enjoyed dollar content growth in flagship smartphones as technology has advanced), then Samsung's adoption should certainly help and an even bigger boost should come once Apple adopts the chips.
The point, though, is that Broadcom's strong position in premium mobile Wi-Fi chips continues to persist -- something that's good for Broadcom's wireless business and the company's stockholders.