Qualcomm is really serious about this laptop thing. A day after announcing its first Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 PCs from HP and Asus, Qualcomm CDMA Technologies president Cristiano Amon said the company has plans to broaden the scope of its laptop project.
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For one thing, Windows 10 will run on "every single Snapdragon 800" series processor, Amon said. While the first round of Snapdragon PCs run on the current 835, we should see PCs with the newer 845 by the back-to-school sales period in 2018, he said. The 845 brings even better battery life, 15-30 percent better CPU performance and 30 percent better GPU performance than the 835 does.
We'll also see Snapdragon-powered laptops from new manufacturers, including big smartphone players. "You should expect to see some phone OEMs getting into the marketplace," Amon said.
To me, that means Samsung and LG will get on board. Both already have phone and laptop businesses, and Samsung has never met an oddball laptop/OS combination it didn't like.
Amon also got into greater detail about the laptops' retail sale and carrier service plans than we heard yesterday. No, he didn't describe any specific service plans—and I'm still worried that wireless carrier greed will doom these laptops in the US, where we have lot of fast, free Wi-Fi. But analysts at Qualcomm's Snapdragon Summit pointed out that some places, such as Europe and India, have lower LTE rates and fewer Wi-Fi hotspots than we do in the US, which might make the laptops more compelling there.
Amon did say that the laptops will be sold both by retailers and in carrier stores, and that service plans could include the "Kindle model" (with some LTE data included in the purchase price), "Freemium," carrier-locked-and-subsidized, or tablet-like service plans. "We want all of these business models to exist for the PC," he said.