Samsung uniquely makes its flagship smartphones available with two different SoCs. American buyers get the flavor with the latest leading Qualcomm processor while those in Korea and elsewhere get the one with the leading-edge Exynos processor, Samsung’s homegrown processor family. Exynos processors also show up in the company’s lower-end Chromebooks, which compete with offerings using MediaTek SoCs.
If reports hold true, though, Samsung may be set to offer a Windows 10 PC using Exynos. That isn’t such big news per se as Samsung is a relatively small player in the notebook world (outside Korea, of course). But it would mean that Qualcomm’s period of exclusivity for Windows on Arm processors had come to a close, and thus open the door for competition from MediaTek, which has been king of the budget Chromebooks. Arm-based Windows PCs, in contrast, have remained expensive. Qualcomm has introduced less expensive SoCs to bring the prices down, but so far no OEMs have bitten. This has made it difficult for Windows on Arm to gain traction at a time when Apple has reset expectations of what an Arm-based computing experience (or at least transition) can be.