Google’s head of Android, Hiroshi Lockheimer, showed up in person at Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit to reaffirm the two companies’ partnership, shortly after Google appeared to ditch Qualcomm for its own Tensor chipset in its flagship Pixel phones. Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon tried to make Qualcomm synonymous with Android on stage at the event. But while Android has always run on more than Qualcomm processors, there’s a shift in tone when you make a product that directly competes with your partners.
Following Google’s decision to discontinue Qualcomm chips in its Pixel phones, Android CEO Hiroshi Lockheimer delivers a message of peace to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit. Hiroshi Lockheimer of Google greets Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon. “We couldn’t do it on our own. We needed people like you.”
Lockheimer chatted with Amon on stage, but it was worth paying attention to who was saying what. Amon talked about Qualcomm leading in premium smartphones. Lockheimer tried to keep the focus broader—perhaps to avoid criticizing Tensor or Google’s Tensor strategy.
Ultimately, Lockheimer wanted to affirm that Google is still “open,” as in providing an open platform where all the experiences aren’t first-party experiences. The move toward Tensor with the Pixel 6 was seen by some as a potential move toward a more Apple-like model. The Qualcomm and Google partnership is solid, Lockheimer said. “I think it’s great … I think it’s wonderful.”
“When we started working on this together, it really was about the phone. And now it’s about the phone and all these other devices that surround it, and that all makes up the premium experience as well—the wearable, the hearable, the tablet, all these things. Having all these things work better together becomes part of the experience, and you’re doing it,” Lockheimer told Amon.