Apple held talks with Samsung Electronics Co, and MediaTek together with present vendor Intel Corp to provide 5G modem chips for 2019 iPhones, in keeping with an Apple govt’s testimony at a trial between Qualcomm and the US Federal Commerce Fee on Friday.
Between 2011 and 2016, Apple relied on San Diego-based Qualcomm as the only real provider of such chips, which assist iPhones connect with wi-fi networks. Beginning in 2016, Apple cut up the enterprise between Intel and Qualcomm, however in 2018, Apple moved solely to Intel for its latest telephones.
However Apple provide chain govt Tony Blevins testified on Friday that Apple has additionally thought of MediaTek and Samsung, considered one of its largest rivals within the smartphone market, to provide the chips for the subsequent era of wi-fi networks referred to as 5G. These networks are anticipated to begin rolling out this 12 months and supply sooner knowledge speeds than present 4G networks.
The FTC is suing Qualcomm alleging the chip provider engaged in anticompetitive patent licensing practices to protect a dominant place within the premium modem chip market.
On the stand at a federal courthouse in San Jose, California, Blevins testified that Apple has lengthy sought a number of suppliers for modem chips however signed an settlement with Qualcomm to solely provide the chips as a result of the chip provider provided deep rebates on patent license prices in trade for exclusivity.
In 2013, Apple broke off work with Intel to begin supplying modems for the iPad Mini 2 as a result of Apple would lose its rebates through the use of Intel’s chips, rendering Intel’s merchandise “economically unattractive” total.
Later that 12 months after value negotiations with Qualcomm didn’t go as Apple hoped, Apple kicked off “Undertaking Vintage” to safe a second modem provider, Blevins testified.
By 2016 and 2017, Apple launched Intel’s modems in a few of its iPhones but additionally nonetheless used Qualcomm chips. However Apple’s lawsuit in opposition to Qualcomm filed in early 2017 precipitated their enterprise relationship to vary “in a really profound and unfavorable method,” resulting in utilizing solely Intel’s modems for the telephones launched final 12 months.
“Your complete idea of Undertaking Vintage was to discover a second provider. No offence to (Intel) however we do not wish to be single provider with them. We needed each Qualcomm and (Intel) within the combine,” Blevins stated. Blevins additionally testified Apple thought of making Intel the only real provider of modems for the Apple Watch, which added 4G connectivity in 2017 utilizing Qualcomm chips.
Blevins stated that speaking with Samsung, whose Galaxy and Be aware units compete in opposition to the iPhone, is “not a perfect atmosphere” for Apple, however that Samsung is at present the biggest part provider to Apple.
Blevins didn’t say whether or not Apple had reached a call on a 5G modem provider or whether or not it will launch a 5G iPhone in 2019. Citing sources, Bloomberg beforehand reported that Apple wouldn’t launch such a cellphone till 2020.
© Thomson Reuters 2019