Qualcomm is known for powering the brains of most Android smartphones in the US, but the company’s other major stronghold is in the modem used to give most smartphones, even iPhones, cellular connectivity. For Google’s upcoming Pixel 6, though, a new report adds further confirmation that Samsung will supply the 5G modem.

We reported quite some time ago that Google’s “Whitechapel” chip, now known as Tensor, would ship without a Qualcomm modem. In fact, we narrowed down that the chip would be using a modem also used on Samsung Exynos chips, which is codenamed “Shannon.”

Today, a report from Reuters corroborates those previous findings. “Two sources” confirmed that Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will use a 5G modem supplied by Samsung instead of one from Qualcomm on versions of the phone to be sold in the United States. This is certainly a big deal for Samsung, as this would mark one of the first times that the company’s modems would be used in smartphones sold in the US. Even Samsung’s own smartphones, which use Samsung modems internationally, use Qualcomm chips and modems in the US variants. This would also mark the first time a Samsung modem would be used in a non-Samsung device.

Further, this report brings out that this 5G modem will support mmWave connectivity, the faster version of 5G that’s known for generating some impressive speed tests. Google previously confirmed that Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will support mmWave, and Samsung said that its modem tech supports the connectivity as well, though neither company confirmed the two are working together.

Qualcomm, notably, said in a statement that “a modem is not enough to support millimeter-wave in phones” and that the tech relies on other chips inside of the phone. When Google’s Tensor chip was announced earlier this month, Qualcomm’s stock dipped.

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Ben Schoon

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