Apple and Qualcomm have been locked in a bitter legal battle for a while now, and it looks like the Cupertino giant is deciding to part ways with the US semiconductor company. According to new report, Apple is designing iPhones and iPads that will no longer use chips supplied by Qualcomm.
The Wall Street Journal was first to report that Apple will not be using long-time partner Qualcomm’s modem chips and is instead looking at Intel and MediaTek to fill the place. Qualcomm has provided modem chips to Apple for several years. Intel has also provided modem chips for more than half of the iPhone in recent years, including the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Both Qualcomm and Intel also provided chips for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, but it looks like Qualcomm will be left out from next year’s iPhones.
Apple can still change its mind if things cool down between the two companies, the report added. It has until three months prior to next year’s September launch to bring Qualcomm back on board. Apple’s move is likely a response to Qualcomm allegedly withholding software that the tech giant needs to test LTE chips in its iPhone and iPad prototypes. Qualcomm for its part has stated that modems for next year’s iPhones have “already been fully tested and released to Apple.” The company added that it is “committed to supporting Apple’s new devices.”
The move also comes following an intense legal battle that started earlier this year. Apple in January filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Qualcomm claiming that the chipmaker has been unfairly charging royalties for technologies they had nothing to do with. The dispute escalated in April when Apple stopped paying licensing revenue to Qualcomm. The chip manufacturer would then respond with its own lawsuit, and several patent infringement lawsuits as it tried to block imports of select iPhone models in the US. The chipmaker also requested a ban on iPhones in China.
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