Apple is reportedly planning to ditch Qualcomm chips for next year iPhone and iPad. According to a report from Wall Street Journal, Apple has designed iPhone and iPad that would drop the chip maker’s components. Sources told the publication that the Cupertino tech company is looking instead to take modem chips from Intel and perhaps from MediaTek.
In a similar report, Reuters citing people familiar with the matter said that the change would affect iPhone released in the fall of 2018, however, Apple might still change course before then. Evidently, Qualcomm for several years has supplied modem chips to Apple, which basically help iPhone and iPad devices to connect to cellular networks. However, Stacy Rasgon, a Bernstein analyst told Reuters that Intel has provided nearly half of Apple’s modem chips for iPhone in recent years.
The two companies are locked in an ongoing legal dispute over the chipmaker’s licensing fees and patent infringement. Apple in January this year filed a suit against Qualcomm for around $1 billion accusing the chipset maker of giving unfair ‘licensing terms’ for its technology. Qualcomm in respond filed a suit against the iPhone maker with the US ITC (International Trade Commission) and claimed that Apple had infringed one or more of the six patents they hold regarding technologies that help the iPhone function.
Further late in July this year, the Computer Communications Industry Association (CCIA) which consists of leading tech companies like- Samsung, Intel, Google, Facebook and more filed comments with ITC in support for Apple. The companies in the filing stated that Qualcomm’s request for banning the import of ‘foreign assembled’ iPhone that utilises Intel chips would cause ‘significant shocks to supply’ for smartphones. The ongoing lawsuit that perhaps is one of the big legal dispute in the tech industry.
Rasgon told Reuters that it is too early to conclusively say if Apple completely intends to drop Qualcomm next year since the Cupertino tech company might likely print multiple contingency plans for different supplier scenarios.