Dec 16 AT 2:32 PM Taylor Wimberly 51 Comments

Qualcomm goes after the end-user with Snapdragon Stadium


Early this year we made our annual trip to Las Vegas to cover CES. I chose to focus on all the semiconductor companies since I’m processor nerd, and I scheduled meetings with Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and NVIDIA. After talking with each company and interviewing a couple employees (like NVIDIA’s Michael Rayfield), I came away with a wealth of knowledge about the mobile industry.

I studied everyone’s position and strategies then predicted NVIDIA would win round 1 of the dual-core wars because of their time to market advantage, premium content strategy, and consumer marketing. When it came to Android tablets, that turned out to be mostly true. NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 processor controlled 70% of the Android tablet market until just recently. Now the low-priced Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet have sold millions, all of which used Texas Instruments’ OMAP4 processor.

As we gear up for CES again, I am starting to wonder who could come out on top in 2012. One company I expect to do extremely well is Qualcomm, who completely overhauled their Snapdragon brand this year.

For an example of how far Qualcomm has come, check out this response to a question I asked Raj Talluri, VP of Product Management at Qualcomm, back at CES.

Q: Does Qualcomm have a strategy to highlight premium content designed for dual-core Snapdragon products? Similar to NVIDIA’s Tegra Zone?
A: We allow the operators to differentiate their devices. The most important customers for us are the phone makers and the operators, not the end-user who buys the phone.

Qualcomm use to openly admit they were not focused on the end-user, but that has completely changed in the span of under a year. In 2011 we saw Qualcomm launch a new site for Snapdragon, go after the competitionreveal Snapdragon Game Pack for OEMs, change the naming conventions for Snapdragon processors, invite us to demo their Snapdragon S4 processor, talk up mobile gaming, launch a viral video, announce Snapdragon GameCommand, show off Android 4.0promote dual-core location, and now they are renaming Qualcomm Stadium to Snapdragon Stradium.

All efforts to increase the Snapdragon brand awareness.

Snapdragon Stadium will be their boldest move yet, with over 30 million people expected to watch the three football games that are planned at the stadium during the 10 day promotion. Game include the Chargers vs. Baltimore Ravens Sunday Night Football on Dec. 18, the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 21, and the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 28.

Tim McDonough, Qualcomm VP of Marketing, described the reasons behind the name switch in a company blog post. Tim said, “When it comes to mobile tech, consumers are becoming more and more savvy. It’s only natural that these same consumers want to understand how their mobile devices work. By renaming Qualcomm Stadium to Snapdragon Stadium, we are creating more mobile user awareness of Snapdragon processors, which in turn will allow us to inform these same consumers on how Snapdragon processors help their smartphones and tablets do more.”

Dan Novak, another Qualcomm spokesman, echoed his remarks by saying, “We want people, when they are thinking about buying their next device, to ask if it has Snapdragon inside.”

Based on the way things have been going, I would say they are off to a good start. Now their next biggest challenge will be convincing the carriers to actually put the Snapdragon S1, S2, S3, and S4 logos on the product packaging, since this type of information is often hidden from customers.

What is your opinion of the Snapdragon brand? Do we have any brand loyalist that will only buy mobile devices with Snapdragon processors? Let us know what direction you would like to see Qualcomm take next.

Via: Qualcomm Blog

Source: Snapdragon Stadium

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • AsakuraZero

    im no loyalist, i buy the one who have the better offer, if it qualcomm who makes the best chips performance and battery life, so be qualcomm, same goes to Nvidia or samsung

    • booyootoo

      I agree with you partially. I don’t look at the chipset, but at the device. If its high end enoug for me I’ll buy it, whether it is powered by Nvidia, Qualcomm or TI…

      • LukeT32

        I’m not loyal to any manufactor. They just better have the best phone out there when I go to purchase a new one… and sounds like they are pulling a page out of Intel’s book.

    • thel0nerang3r

      That’s not most customer though. If a company were to focus mainly on the enthusiast, they would go broke or charge very high prices to make up for the lack of volume. For people that actually care what’s inside, they will research what the pone has. When you go into the store, they could have a huge display on a phone that you know isn’t as good as a phone in the corner. Will the display convince you? nope. You know better… however, the average consumer doesn’t. It would be good if the boxes did have “Snapdragon S1Million” or whatever. We have all been to stores where the sales person, either due to lack of knowledge or just wanting to make the sale will say “yes it does.”
      When I was looking at phones for my last upgrade, I stopped at kiosk by them mall… well, the salesman cornered me. He was pushing some phone in his hand. I asked if it had LTE. He said yes. I looked at it and said “I don’t see VZW LTE branding on it.” His answer, and I kid you not, was “VZW will do a software update that enables it.”

  • zyphbear

    That’s great that they are trying to get awareness out there. But they need to be aiming toward a specific market and get the brands that they are working with to Boast about about using Snapdragon. They may also want to narrow down the pricing for some end user items that are not involved with a carrier, like aim for tablets and gadgets too.
    I would agree that putting the processor logos on the products along with making the name SnapDragon very pronounced would be the best place to start. But sometimes it would also be good to start running contests too.

    • Tarwinia

      What you say is true, but even so it’s a great step for them. Just the fact that they have heard of the name can influence buyers. If an average bloke goes to a store to buy a new phone and the seller mentions three processors in different devices, then the shopper will often go with the one which he has heard of, even if he doesn’t know why or even if it’s better (imagine in this scenario that other characteristics like screen, etc. are all pretty similar). Getting end users to know you even exist is half the battle.

  • Billy

    and lets not forget that “Snapdragon” is just a damn cool product name. I would prefer to play in Snapdragon stadium instead of Qualcomm stadium.

    • Futureboy

      That’s what I thought for a minute myself, until I realized… hey… wait a sec… a Snapdragon is also a frilly flower. Suddenly it lost a few “cool points.”

      • Sean the Electrofreak

        But it’s a flower that (supposedly) looks like a dragon. That’s considerably cooler than it’s non-dragon-resembling counterparts. :p

  • David Hughes

    I would like to see more of the number comparisons when the time comes, I also understand that Intel may be getting into the processor race too with Android 4

    • stenzor

      I think they realized that Intel was getting into the market, and decided to change their strategy partially due to this fact… Now that the market is more saturated, it will be tough for manufacturers to determine which chipset to use, so if they can get consumer appeal behind them, it will help them get the deal.

  • Darknight42020

    I’m pretty satisfied with the one in my SGSII. At first was skeptical but it’s performed well. I had the device rooted and ready to flash 15mins out of the box so I’ve put it through some hoops and limit pushing.

  • Patrick E. Mahoney Jr.

    I think that they need to make some really cool commercials otherwise average consumers won’t ever know WHAT a Snapdragon is. It’s all about the TV time!

    • eee

      great point

  • Thomas Biard

    I like the initiative to get the name out there, but in the end, even if people know what snapdragon is, that they will buy a phone because it is snapdragon or tegra. It will come down to the phone that is built around the processor.

  • jamal

    I have no loyalty to a specific brand but I have to say that the Exynos processors are top notch. Changing the stadium name can provide good Qualcomm with a new way to showcase their products to the consumer but their also need to be ads informing the consumer of what Snapdragon really is and what it can do for the consumer.

  • Ilyse Rose

    I have no loyalty in this, whatever’s best will get my money and this looks like a pretty awesome statement.

  • Nathan D.

    Well I always think about what processor is in the phone I want and the ups and down of having it but then again chainfire has no limit to which games it plays

  • behzadbayat

    Thats what i like competion for companies and both consumer and seller gain a lot.

  • Yathushan

    This is irritating because now every processor manufacturer is in the mobile gaming market to tout their features and differentiation. Why isn’t Texas instruments doing any thing similar besides the galaxy nexus they have been really quite and so therefore losing out to its competitors big time in terms of a mind space.

  • Martjn2

    Qualcomm has to get some OEMs otherwise their out…

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Do you mean acquire a handset maker? They already work pretty close with HTC, Sony Ericsson, LG, Motorola, and Samsung.

      • phaet2112

        And their chipsets right now are the only ones for high end handsets for Tmo since they support 42 mbs downloads compared with Tegra 2.

  • ramenchef

    As long as their SoCs stay competitive, I’m happy. They fell behind in the dual cycle of SoCs due to the aging architecture. Hopefully S4 fixes that.

  • Tarwinia

    I have no true brand loyalty, only preference. If products are similar then I might go with the one I’ve had good experiences with, but if there’s a notable difference or one has features that I need but the other doesn’t then I am willing to switch.

    But as someone else stated it also depends the OEMs and the actual phones/devices. I like HTC phones (build quality/design), haven’t been convinced by any LG phones I’ve seen/played with and I’ve had horrible experiences with Sony when it comes to non-phone devices. So it depends on WHAT manufacturers have WHAT inside WHAT phones.

    I personally think I’ll prefer S4 to Tegra 3 but the thing that disappoints me with S4 is that the first-gen S4 will supposedly have the same video decoder hardware as in the S3 while the Tegra 3 has really upped their game on video decoding (Tegra 2 was a total disappointment in that department)… But then again by the time I upgrade devices there’s a good chance the quad-core S4s will be out (along with OMAP 5s and MAYBE the A15 based Exynos).

    The one which lets me leave my “real” computer off for most of the time will get my dollar :P

  • Zeratoda1

    I always enjoy hearing about Qualcomm

  • astria

    until they up the performance of Adreno, i am not diving into Sanpdragon again…

    been thru Adreno 130 and Adreno 200 on HTC Hero and HTC Desire, but they juz lag behind competition of their time (PowerVR SGX 530 and 540 respectively)…

    ARM Mali, PoverVR SGX and NV GeForce ULP have all proven wat they are capable of, but not Adreno…

    and that is the biggest reason i went for Galaxy S II instead of Sensation even though i ve always like HTC quality…

    • metafor

      Adreno 220 is ahead of Tegra 2′s ULP. We’ll see how 225 goes against Tegra 3.

  • eliander mendoza

    snapdagron wins yai oh i am in MD that means i go with the ravens.

  • triangle

    I don’t know if Qualcomm really has the best technology for processors, but they have a huge advantage because they can better integrate their processors with the other chips that go into a high end phone. And they can do much of this on one integrated system on a chip. That’s a pretty big advantage. Until Samsung gets their exynos chips work well with LTE, we won’t see them in LTE phones. That’s pretty crucial. Eventually, it’ll happen, but until then they are giving their competitors an opportunity to gain share.

  • CJ LaFleur

    Nvidias tegra 3 already has me sold. I am getting my transformer prime soon and the awesome GPU and tegra zone are great for me considering im an avid gamer. There are some awesome games out and some coming soon and these games will look awesome with such amazing graphics and such a high screen resolution and great pixel density. Can’t wait to get it and sorry qualcomm but nvidia is winning by miles.

  • Zhi Hao

    Hmm… I only have loyalty to GPUs. Currently, I’m siding with Imagination. And before all the Qualcomm fans point out the Adreno 320, well, take a lookie:

    Of course and there’s Rogue coming up too :) But you, I am quite a fanboy hahas :D

    All in the spirit of fun.

  • Chris Lewis

    I will be there rooting for the CHARGERS!!!

  • alexaac14

    I almost forgot snapdragon was the first to release the 1st 1ghz mobile processor

  • sgumer

    that is a huge move. i like the name better as well. i think it will help them in marketing.

  • cxandroid

    Lets hear it for Hummingbird!

  • Martjn2

    High-end phones <3

  • Samar

    Yes..mentioning their brand on the product will definately help their cause. I’m not a brand loyalist as long as it provides good value for gr8 quality.

  • pritams

    that’s awesome…

  • Joshua Melling

    They need to take it all the way to the consumer to do that. most people have no idea what CPU is in there phone/tablet. Nvidia has done a great job of flashing there name at the consumer.

  • dacatalyst41

    Different processors have different advantages. The best thing to look for is how the manufacturer marries processor, GPU, and software. The asus transformer has similar specs to many 10-inch Android tablets, but it out performs them as a whole because of the fluidity between these factors.

  • ccn_cristi

    It’s great they are trying so hard to make the brand public. More competition better for us, the end users!

  • merlintw

    Only bad side of this is me having to hear “Snapdragon Stadium” 87 times during the Charger game. o.O

  • Skis03

    When I currently think of Snapdragon I think of their 1 Ghz single core processor. When I think of fast processors i think of TI or Nvidia Tegra. Maybe this will help change perception.

  • anamericanbanned

    I love the snapdragon brand. The gpu performance lacked compared to the hummingbird series, but I’d rather have a chip that doesn’t zap my battery in 6 hours.

  • lokidokie

    Give me Tegra 3 any day

  • humidity

    I’m sure the average consumers just go by # of cores and Ghz.

  • alee

    I don’t think any chip manufacturers have come close to the public awareness that Intel has had with “Intel Inside.” People who are aware of the various ARM manufacturers are at least to some extent enthusiasts, while naming a stadium is best for raising awareness among the general public. I’d guess that even the vast majority of people who own any kind of Android devices couldn’t tell you who manufactured the CPU inside, even if you leave out the Kindle Fire and the Nooks Color and Tablet. Good luck to Qualcomm on this.

  • Luke Haviland

    to the victor goes the spoils

  • donger

    go qualcomm

  • jaybizza

    If its made by Samsung…Im all over it!! They have proven to me that their devices/hardware are Quality and Innovation!! That’s what I WANT!!!