In short: Samsung may be working on a new Galaxy A-series Android smartphone equipped with the Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm’s high-end system-on-chip that has so far only found its way inside the company’s Android flagships, according to one known industry insider from China. The device in question is not the Galaxy A9 Star Pro or however Samsung’s quadruple-camera handset scheduled to be unveiled next month will be called.
Background: Even should Samsung break precedent and deliver a value-oriented device with a high-end chip, the company’s established product practices suggest such a handset likely wouldn’t be available outside of China and possibly India, two markets where low-cost competition has been eating away its market share in recent years. In the case of China, rivals pushed Samsung to the brink of obscurity, with the company’s strategy in the Far Eastern country now revolving around niches such as high-end flip phones and quadruple-camera handsets. A Galaxy A-series device with a flagship SoC would fit that market approach, though it’s presently unclear whether Samsung already greenlit such a product for commercialization or is merely toying with the idea as part of its R&D efforts.
Impact: A Galaxy A handset with a high-end chip would be the closest Samsung ever came to bridging the gap between the mid-range and premium segments of the smartphone market, even though such a product almost certainly wouldn’t be widely available. Western markets such as Europe and the United States likely wouldn’t receive that device given how more expensive Galaxy S and Galaxy Note-series phablets are already doing well there, though an aggressively priced phone with a premium SoC may give Samsung some ammunition to compete with the likes of Xiaomi and Huawei in markets such as China and India. The South Korean tech giant may not necessarily release such a product this year and could wait until Q1 2019 when the Snapdragon 845 will get a discount seeing how its successor will already be in mass production.