The Computex 2018 expo is currently in full swing in Taipei, Taiwan. One of the major announcements was Qualcomm's official reveal of the Snapdragon 850 Mobile Computer Platform. The company has also announced a new partnership with US-based network carrier Sprint. Through the collaboration, users on current Snapdragon 835-powered PCs will get free data.
With the new Snapdragon 850 on board devices, users should receive a 30% performance improvement, and 20% better battery life. Additionally, Qualcomm says the CPU is good for a 20% 4G LTE upgrade too.
That said, the Snapdragon 850 will not be available in new Windows 10 on ARM PCs until later this year. Last week I wrote about how this processor effectively makes current Always Connected PCs obsolete. Those devices have only been out a few months but will already be replaced by better hardware.
Mobile consumers may be used to that kind of yearly upgrade model, but I am unsure PC users want or need it. Sure, the first generation of Always Connected PCs have been received poorly and need an upgrade. However, beyond that yearly chip upgrades are unlikely to ignite the waning PC market.
Either way, while it is somewhat concerning that Snapdragon 835-powered Always Connected PCs from the first generation will be left behind, Qualcomm is not forgetting them entirely.
Through the new collaboration with Sprint, the company can bring free unlimited data to Windows 10 on ARM PCs using the Snapdragon 835. That includes Always Connected PCs from Lenovo, Asus, and HP. Specifically, the devices are the Lenovo Miix 630, Asus NovaGo, and the HP Envy X2.
At Computex, Joe Glynn, vice president of business development at Qualcomm, said:
“We're excited to continuously grow the Windows 10 on Snapdragon ecosystem by supporting Sprint in providing customers with unlimited data, encouraging even greater on-the-go productivity and entertainment. Building on our existing portfolio and upcoming offerings, this announcement is a significant milestone in bringing consumers fast, accessible connectivity from nearly anywhere in North America.”
It is worth remembering that to get the free data, consumers will need to sign up for the Sprint AutoPay program.
Sprint and Intel
Sprint has been busy cosying up to chipmakers are Computex this week. Earlier today, we reported on the carrier's new partnership with Qualcomm rival Intel. Alongside Microsoft and PC OEMs, the companies confirmed PCs with 5G connectivity will begin shipping next year.