Qualcomm is looking to enter the consumer market with an Android-powered Nintendo Switch-like device.
Qualcomm is primarily known for creating semiconductors and modems, products that are used by smartphone makers around the world. As such, the company’s products power some of the most popular devices in the world, but the company has yet to venture into consumer territory.
According to Android Police, that’s about to change, with the company preparing to unveil a Nintendo Switch knockoff, running Android. Since the device will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors, it will help the company showcase its processors outside of traditional phones.
Android Police says the device’s form factor will specifically allow Qualcomm to show off Snapdragon’s performance.
The device, which we were able to view non-final images of but cannot share, is immediately familiar to anyone who owns a Switch. Detachable “joycon” style controllers are on the left and right sides of the core console, which resembles a thicker, bulkier smartphone. There’s a good reason for that: the company believes that the added thermal headroom a thicker design affords will make its processor run faster and significantly more efficiently than a modern ultra-thin smartphone. Qualcomm is also using that space to pack in a large 6000mAh battery that will be equipped with its Quick Charge technology. According to our source, Qualcomm is using a premium supplier in the controller space to design and manufacture the gamepads, though we were unable to verify the name of that supplier.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon consistently plays second fiddle to Apple’s custom silicon, in terms of performance, although both are based on Arm designs. Showcasing the Snapdragon in a form factor that will allow it to achieve its full potential could be a good move for Qualcomm.