Probably one of the biggest rumors leading up to the Windows Phone 8 announcement was some speculation that Qualcomm would lose its exclusive status as the sole SoC vendor for Windows Phone handsets. As a recap, WP7 and WP7.5 started out with QSD8x50 65nm Snapdragon, and later moved on to 45nm single core MSM8x55 and MSM7x30. 

Today, Microsoft announced that Qualcomm will be the sole provider of dual core SoCs for initial launch devices from hardware partners Nokia, Huawei, Samsung, and HTC. There's some wiggle room in there for what comes after that first phase, but for now Qualcomm still holds that exclusive spot. 

Update: Qualcomm stated in a note to us that the initial Windows Phone 8 devices will use a Snapdragon S4 Plus SoC. I asked for clarification about which specific SoC this is, and found out it is indeed MSM8960 inside - dual core krait with Adreno 225. 

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  • JohnnyL53 - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    The flagship windows phone is $99. Even cheaper when its on sale. You can buy 3 of these versus one Android flagship phone.
    Window phones got an upgrade from 7.0 up through 7.5 to 7.8. Fairly analogous to your example. an its still cheaper to throw it away and get a new one compared to a similar flagship Android or the iphone.
  • sprockkets - Friday, June 22, 2012 - link

    "Did the galaxy S ever get a ICS update?

    Got it like right after ICS was released, where have you been?

    "Did the first Android devices get Android 2.0 update?

    Uh, no, they got updated to 1.5 and 1.6.

    "Every year they have to buy a new fucking Android Phone because the stupid manufacturer just doesn't update there device."

    I didn't and neither did most others.

    "Whereas most Windows Phone 7 devices got the update to WP7.5 in less than a month."

    So what? That puts them on par with the rest of the world from 3 years ago.

    "All iPhone users who are having iPhone 3GS or above are running the latest version of iOS."

    With none of the new features of it either. The 3GS will run ios6 and not have any turn by turn nav, no 3d maps, no siri and all the enhancements it brings.

    Wow, an updated phone app, that's such a major upgrade.
  • PubFiction - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - link

    People say it is good but it is failing. I consistently buy android phones because windows phone is always behind hardware wise and limited in choices.

    Open hardware is part of the windows success story this is not. Google is better than microsoft at microsofts game.
  • SomeTechDude - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Nokia Windows Phone 8 with dual core SoC by Qualcomm here I come and this is from a day one release Nexus One user for the last couple of years.

    I was holding out for the Nexus "Four" after how disappointed I was with the in store demos of the second and third Nexus phones by Samsung. I have looked at the other Android devices as they were released as well. Looking at the newer single core, dual core, and the fresh hotness that is the quad cores, but no matter how cool and FAST the new android device was on demo in the stores I still found my old friend the ever pervasive "Android Lag". I will admit that on some devices it isn't as bad as on others but it is still there and I have been able to find it on every device I try out in person. Don't get me wrong I still really like using my android phone and it is quite useful but I thought by now the "Android Lag" issue of the interface would have been fixed by now especially on the quad core devices.

    A while ago a family member (not tech savvy at all) of mine had purchased a Nokia Lumia phone with Windows Phone 7.5 on it. I helped him set it up and was impressed with how I didn't notice any UI lag no matter how deep I went into the system and it was very snappy and consistent on a single core SoC. I asked if it would be alright if I "tested" the phone for a few days and he could use mine. After using a Nokia WP7.5 for just a few days it really has opened my eyes, I never thought about getting a WP for myself. Until then I was Android all the way. I can't wait to see how Microsoft has improved the user experience on a dual core Soc for WP8.

    Just my two cents.
  • sheltem - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Both Motorola and Sony have stated on the record that optimizing Android for their particular device cocktails is a very most time consuming task. This goes a long way in explaining why existing Android devices take so long to update, if at all.
  • UpSpin - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    at least they are able to do it. They could be as lazy as a WP device developer and build a Smartphone similar to the Nexus line. Then they don't have to optimze anything.

    But thanks to Android they can integrate different hardware and change the OS to use it, it won't be able with WP8, you still can only use standard hardware like Qualcomm processors, fixed resolution displays, ...

    Do you think device manufacturers could easily add a 3D display to WP8? A different SoC? Propietary hardware?
  • Duraz0rz - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    They could use a different SoC. Since the kernel is essentially the same between WP8 and W8, manufacturers can write drivers for Tegra 3 for W8 (which they likely will be for the W8 release) and then port those drivers to WP8 if/when the time comes. That's the impression I got from the summit.

    Qualcomm just happens to be the launch partner. Doesn't necessarily mean the system will be locked down again to Qualcomm.
  • UpSpin - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    They can only do what Microsoft allows them to do. Microsoft also could have allowed Exynos, Tegra, ... processors in WP7.5, but they haven't. So I doubt they'll change it with WP8.
  • phoenix_rizzen - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    That's an artificial barriere that they have built themselves.

    A smart OEM would realise that too many options is no better than not enough options.

    Instead of releasing 75 different models every year, each with a different SoC, different amount of RAM, different screen size, different resolution, etc, etc, etc, they should concentrate on a smaller number of form factors with virtually identical innards.

    Personally, I would love it if a smartphone manufacturer came out with 3 screen sizes (~3", ~3.5", ~4+"), with and without hardware keyboards. The SoC, RAM, and storage would be identical, perhaps with CPU/GPU clockspeeds varying. Then they could stop wasting time making umpteen variations, and can concentrate on optimising the software stack.
  • andrewaggb - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    I don't think that apple has much to worry about yet, but I think android is going to be in for a world of hurt.

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