SMARTPHONE MAKERS shipped 40 million handsets with quad-core processors in 2012, despite the chips being restricted to high-end smartphones.
Chip vendors such as Qualcomm, Nvidia and Samsung had quad-core processors available for smartphones in 2012, but all the firms targeted high-end smartphones. Despite this, Berg Insight claims that 40 million handsets were shipped with quad-core processors in 2012.
Samsung's Galaxy S3 shipped with a quad-core processor in some markets, while Qualcomm announced its quad-core Krait processor and Nvidia had its Tegra 3 chip that saw action in HTC's One X handset. According to Berg Insights, out of a total of 690 million handsets sold, 40 million had quad-core processors, which is an impressive percentage given how few expensive smartphone models had the chips.
Berg Insight said that dual-core chips, which made their debut in smartphones with the LG Optimus 2X in 2011, were found in 250 million handsets in 2012. The firm forecast that by 2017 almost every smartphone sold will have at least a dual-core processor.
André Malm, senior analyst at Berg Insight said, "It becomes more difficult for consumers to make comparisons between handsets when application processor vendors introduce SoCs based on different CPU architectures and core counts, each with different performance depending on specific workload".
Berg Insight is, like many handset makers, predicting the smartphone market will see the most growth in the low-end market, which judging by its prediction that most smartphones will have at least a dual-core processor means that Samsung's fanciful eight-core chip in some Galaxy S4 models will still be in the minority, even in 2017. µ