The curious case of Nougat and Qualcomm Snapdragon 800/801: Powered devices might not get the update

Android Nougat has been the talk of the tech town ever since it debuted on select Nexus devices. However, a recent report has brought the latest version of Android under speculations. These new reports suggest that Nougat won’t get updated on devices that are powered by Snapdragon 800/801 chipsets.

Well, this news comes as a setback as we have a plethora of good smartphones that come driven by the said SoC. Some of these devices are the HTC One M8, Sony Xperia Z3, Samsung Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3, LG G3, and Nexus 5. A leakster – “LlabTooFeR” explained the reason behind Nougat not coming on these devices. According to the leakster, several older smartphones launched in 2014 might not get the update because Qualcomm won’t be delivering updates to the graphics driver of the Snapdragon 800 or 801 chipsets.

Qualcomm will not release graphics drivers for 800/801 CPUs.So HTC One M8 and other devices based on this CPU won’t get official Android 7.0 — LlabTooFeR (@LlabTooFeR) August 25, 2016

Apparently, Qualcomm (for unknown reasons) has decided not to roll out updated drivers for the Snapdragon 800 and Snapdragon 801 chipsets. Unfortunately, these chipsets power some of the major flagships of 2014 along with many in 2015. In the year 2015, many manufacturers decided to stay away from the bad-mouthed Snapdragon 810 chipset and chose Snapdragon 800/801 instead. Interestingly, Nougat requires updated drivers to run on devices.

Snapdragon 800/801

Acknowledging the success of Snapdragon 800 and 801, there are dozens of devices that will be impacted by Qualcomm’s decision. On the one hand, it is not much of a surprise that the initially mentioned devices won’t get the update at all, for example – the Nexus 5 has approached the edge of its promised support period. It goes without saying that Qualcomm’s decision is rather unpleasant, as many of Snapdragon 800/801 powered devices are pretty much capable of managing anything that Nougat requires. Many reports also suggest that the reason behind Nougat’s non-coming could be the “Vulcan” feature on the OS, which is a new high-performance 3D graphics standard that Snapdragon 800/801 are just not capable of handling or compatible.

It is indeed a disappointing situation where the largest chipset manufacturer denies its service to some of 2014’s major devices. We believe that chipsets do not have short service period, and it should support the devices for a longer period ranging from at least five years to seven. We hope that these rumours turn out to be rumours. Or else, Qualcomm might face a significant backlash.

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