6 reasons Google Tensor chip can be a worry for Qualcomm | Gadgets Now



Google Pixel 6 series phones — Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro — are here. The biggest highlight of the phones is Google’s own SoC Tensor. It is Tensor that makes Pixel 6 series phones Google’s biggest smartphone update in years. The launch of the Tensor-powered Pixel 6 lineup also marks the end of an era where the Pixel series was powered by Qualcomm SoCs. While most smartphone makers use chips supplied by Qualcomm, Apple has stood out by using its own processors for iPhones. Now, Google is going the same path. The move in more than one way comes as a blow to Qualcomm. In fact, Qualcomm issued a statement after Google announced Tensor chips in August this year reiterating its relation with Google. “Qualcomm Technologies and Google have been partners for more than 15 years, starting with bringing the first Android devices to market,” Qualcomm said in the statement. While Google is a very small player in the phone market the loss of it as a customer may not be big for Qualcomm, there are other things that may worry the chip giant.



Qualcomm lost a small but an ‘important’ customer

Google may not have created much of a flutter in the smartphone market, but it does have a loyal following. Pixel phones are known for their camera prowess and are among the awaited smartphones of the year. Google offering a phone that is powered by an SoC of its own design is loss of a key customer for Qualcomm.



Google Tensor adds one more player to the smartphone chip market, and one with deep pockets

Samsung and Apple, two of the biggest players in the smartphone market, make their own chips. While Apple iPhones only run on the company’s own A-series chips, Samsung uses both Mediatek and Qualcomm chips along with its own Exynos line of SoC. Google’s entry in the chip market adds one more player to the segment and one with big deep pockets. Chip manufacturing is a complex and expensive process, and the fact that Google is investing money and resources in it means that the company is serious about this.



Tensor offers Android smartphone makers opportunity to further build their relationship with Google

This may go both ways, but there is a chance that Google starts offering Tensor SoC to other Android OEMs. And both OS and SoC of the same company are likely to aid in integration and make software talk better with hardware. As Google’s senior director for Google Silicon, Monika Gupta, said during the announcement. “Google Tensor allows us to push the limits of helpfulness in a smartphone, taking it from a one-size-fits-all piece of hardware into a device that’s intelligent enough to respect and accommodate the different ways we use our phones.”



Initial reception to Google Pixel smartphones may boost the company’s hardware ambitions

It may be too early to say, but both analysts and reviewers seem to be impressed with the Pixel 6 series phones. The buyers’ reception too seems to say the same story. Google Store crashed minutes after the phones went up for pre-orders in the US. Though the issue is not clear, media reports claim that the Google Store has been bombarded by demand for the Pixel 6 series phones. The long shipping date too seems to suggest that the phones are being lapped up.



Google Tensor enters the market at a time Mediatek is giving tough competition to Qualcomm

Google Tensor comes to the market at a time when Qualcomm has been facing increasing heat from rival MediaTek. According to Counterpoint Research, MediaTek dominated the smartphone SoC market with its highest ever share of 43%, driven by a competitive 5G portfolio in the low-mid segment during the second quarter (Q2) of 2021.



What if Google looks to IoT

Qualcomm is also betting big on the IoT market. It’s also the market Google is big on. The search giant powers many AI smarts of Android phones with its AI/ML tech.


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