Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) has launched its latest processor ahead of schedule in an effort to bag new smartphone clients and broaden its reach into different markets.

The embattled chipmaker unveiled the Snapdragon 845 at an event in Hawaii, claiming that it offers eXtended reality (XR), on-device artificial intelligence (AI), lightning-fast connectivity and a secure processing unit (SPU). Qualcomm’s latest processor has been billed as an ideal platform to diversify revenue streams and make up for the recent loss of one of its biggest smartphone customers, Apple Inc. (AAPL). (See also: Apple's Hardware Partnership With Qualcomm Is Unraveling.)

The early launch date of the company’s latest processor — its predecessor, the Snapdragon 835, came to market less than a year ago — has fueled speculation that it could be set to feature on Samsung Electric Co Ltd.’s (SSNLF) new flagship Galaxy smartphone. The Snapdragon 845’s quick introduction could also be perceived as a defensive move designed to shore up confidence and boost revenues following a hostile takeover bid from rival Broadcom Limited (AVGO) and costly legal battle with Apple. (See also: Broadcom Goes Hostile in Bid for Qualcomm.)

Chinese smartphone maker, Xiaomi, has already confirmed that it will use Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon processor to power its devices next year. More Apple competitors could be set to follow suit, too, as the Snapdragon 845 reportedly offers technology similar to what powered the iPhones’s Face ID and Apple Pay systems. 

Aside from smartphones, Qualcomm is keen for its newest processor to continue powering other gadgets, including Windows PCs. Prior to the launch, the company displayed a number of laptops and convertible tablets that, with its chips on board, provided persistent cellular wireless connections and multi-day battery life, according to the Financial Times. Together with Microsoft, the plan is to use this technology to compete with Apple’s iPad.

The Snapdragon 845 has also been promoted for wider use. The processor is said to offer three-fold performance improvement over its predecessor for virtual assistants tasks and reportedly enables wearers of virtual reality headsets to explore virtual worlds better than ever before.

Ben Bajarin, analyst at Creative Strategies, heralded Qualcomm’s latest processor as more “flexible and dynamic” and better equipped to compete with new chips designed by Apple, according to the Financial Times. However, Bajarin added that the Snapdragon 845 is once again too expensive to capitalize on the lower-priced smartphone market.

“Only a number of smartphones are running Snapdragon 835 and it’s been out for almost a year,” he said. “They really have to bring that technology down to the mid-range.”

Want to learn how to invest?

Get a free 10 week email series that will teach you how to start investing.

Delivered twice a week, straight to your inbox.