Can a faster Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chip really end the iPhone supremacy days?

Can a faster Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chip really end the iPhone supremacy days?

Recently, we've had very interesting leaks about the yet-unannounced Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chip. The flagship processor, which is currently in the works, is aimed to power the next-gen ultra-powerful smartphones of 2025. Leaked benchmarks suggest it may be able to kick the competitor from Apple (the A18 chip) out of the water in terms of performance. 

High speeds, blazing performance, and outstanding results.. are somewhat what the leaks are hinting at. But this begs the question: is a faster Snapdragon chip all that is needed to end the iPhone's dominance? Let's discuss it!

Sheer numbers: who's got the bigger army

Rumor has it that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 will be an outstanding chip. We hear talks about a main core amped to 4.3 GHz speed, we hear about benchmark results that outshine the previous generation of the chip. Also, reports expect a Geekbench single core score of 3,500 for the Gen 4 (A18 is expected to reach around 3,000), and also better multi-core results and a faster GPU.

Performance Benchmarks:

Geekbench 6
Higher is better
Geekbench 6
Higher is better
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better3DMark
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra2187
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max2958
Google Pixel 8 Pro1720
OnePlus 122243

As you can see, right now the iPhone's A17 Pro chip (on the iPhone 15 Pro Max) is winning both in single and multi-core results in Geekbench. The Galaxy S24 Ultra, which is powered by the 8 Gen 3 chip, isn't too bad either though. Improvements are expected for Apple's next-gen chip (the A18), as well as the 8 Gen 4 chip. 

If you focus on the numbers a bit more, you'll see that rumors are mentioning a possibility of the 8 Gen 4 scoring 3,500 in single core. That would be a jump of 1,313 points over the 2,187 that the S24 Ultra scored with the 8 Gen 3.

Also, one thing is important to address: the 4.3 GHz speed we mentioned earlier will draw way too much power for a smartphone to handle, so it's likely not going to be as overclocked as this. Of course, a chip that draws too much power leads to overheating, and in a smartphone, there's limited space for sophisticated cooling systems.

But even if the 8 Gen 4 managed to get up to 3,500 points and A18 got to 3,300 points, will this mean the iPhone supremacy days are over?

  • Is a bigger army all it takes to win the war?

Of course, when you think of war, numbers are... well, a thing. Nobody wants to face a Persian army numbering millions of soldiers with like... five housewives and a chicken. But in our particular war (the decades-long Smartphone Dominance War, as I'd call it) the numbers are roughly equal, more or less. So, strategy is needed. And strategy is needed in every war. But before talking about strategy, let's briefly discuss...

Is Geekbench indicative of real-life experience?

First off, we have the fact that Geekbench measures a phone's performance in a very "lab-like" way. The numbers you see on the tables don't necessarily reflect what you experience with the phone. 

Both the flagship iPhones and flagship Galaxies feel very fast in real life. You notice no stutters in any of them, games run without begging you to stop them, and everything is silky smooth. On top of that, we humans don't go through the world judging by milliseconds and points. We don't notice those. For us, to put it poetically, the world consists of moments, not of milli- or nanoseconds and the like.

You don't feel the difference of 100 or 200 points on Geekbench, especially if we're above the 3,000 mark. It's just for the benchmarks. So... what else is there?

iPhone's dominance: what else is there other than speed

The iPhone has been leading the US smartphone market since 2009. In the end of 2023, Cupertino held a notable 57.93% market share, according to Exploding Topics.

Generally, finding out why people buy stuff is a challenge that requires knowledge in psychology, commerce, and marketing. One's for sure though - a company cannot really dominate a market without strong marketing and a strong product. I'm arguing here that Apple has both, and is pretty good at it, and that's why people are attracted to the iPhone. 

First off, Apple offers (and has been offering for quite some time) a closed ecosystem with a very high degree of exclusivity. It's almost psychological, like the "cool kids club" that almost everyone wants to be a part of. Also, the ecosystem comes with a level of convenience and simplicity that is also very attractive: with little to no fiddling and setting up, you have your phone, iPad, Mac, and other Apple things all connected to each other.

Then, we have a great level of privacy, which is also attractive to many people. You have security protections, like for example Advanced Data Protection, Intelligent Tracking Prevention, and many more (explore all of the iPhone privacy features here. Warning: very long Apple document).

On top of all that, Apple has a high standard for quality (hence there's no foldable iPhone yet), and the company makes sure its products are top-notch and work well. Of course, any tech is prone to getting broken or having issues. However, usually, Apple is fast to fix things and generally prides itself on the high quality and longevity of its products.

Also, we have all the basics covered like beautiful displays, premium design, and reliable software.

And then comes... the presentation. All of the points mentioned above are impeccably woven into Apple's marketing.

  • Check this out: Apple talk: the art of propping up your products. Although this article was written four years ago, the points still stand. Like it or not, Apple has a winning and highly successful way of presenting things. Marketing lessons to definitely take on board, I'd say.

It's undeniable though that good marketing wins nothing if the product isn't matching up to expectations. Apple knows that and knows what expectations to create and how to deliver on them. It's as much science as it is... art. 

Nonetheless, this comes to show that the iPhone isn't wearing the crown just because it's the fastest out there (being fast helps though). So I'm inclined to believe that just sheer power from the side of Android cannot take it down. Even if the 8 Gen 4 manages to be faster than the A18, likely, many people will still be more attracted to the iPhone.

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