Who’s really ahead in innovation? Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android
In an effort to prevent rivals from stealing its ideas, Apple patents everything it invents — from the iPhone and the iPad, to app icons and even “magic” tactile gloves. But compared to its biggest competitors, Apple’s patent portfolio from 2015 looks surprisingly bare.
Microsoft, Sony, Google, and LG have all outrank Apple in the patent department this year, while arch rival Samsung has absolutely crushed it.
When it comes to mobile communication chips, Qualcomm has cemented itself as Apple’s go-to supplier.
The San Diego-based semi-conductor company dominates the mobile chips business like Apple dominates tablets, but Intel is ready to steal a large chunk of it, and according to the president of Intel Korea, Lee Hee-sung, it’s only a matter of time before Apple converts.
Apple is reportedly planning on creating an R&D team to develop baseband chips for future iPhone models, according to a new rumor from Digitimes.
Baseband chips, for those who don’t know, are used to control a device’s radio functions related to modulation, signal generation, and more.
If the rumor is to be believed, these chips could debut with the round of iPhone updates following the iPhone 6 — which would mean they could arrive with the iPhone that, by current naming standards, will be called the iPhone 6s.
Initial responses to Apple’s iBeacon technology have been decidedly mixed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. After all, exactly the same was true of the iPod, iPhone and iPad in certain quarters upon their release.
Regardless, with Apple keen to push the tech and a number of venues enthusiastic about embracing it, it was only ever going to be a short amount of time before the marketplace rivals started popping up.
Back in September in the aftermath of the iPhone 5s’s debut boasting the world’s first 64-bit smartphone chip, Qualcomm representative Anand Chandrasekher called a 64-bit ARM chip a “gimmick.” Just three months later, Qualcomm’s announcing one, the Snapdragon 410, opening the door for 64-bit Android devices.
Apple’s iPhone 5s became the world’s first smartphone with a 64-bit processor when it launched this September, but as you might expect, it’ll have plenty of competitors next year. Unsurprisingly, some of those will come from Samsung, which is already planning 64-bit chips and 16-megapixel cameras for its 2014 flagships, according to industry sources.
Last month, Qualcomm representative Anand Chandrasekher called Apple’s new 64-bit A7 chip a “gimmick.” It was a hugely stupid thing to say, leading to Qualcomm actually correcting Chandrasekher’s remarks. But it also might have killed Chandrasekher’s career, at least in part, as the former chief marketing officer seems to have been sent into exile within the company.
Do you remember when a representative for mobile chip maker Qualcomm said that Apple’s 64-bit A7 chip was a “marketing gimmick?” It seemed pretty laughable even at the time. At some point, Qualcomm is going to start releasing 64-bit chips, at which point they’d have to eat these words.
Well, Qualcomm didn’t bother waiting to eat those words. They tied a bib on and tucked in, with Qualcomm now acknowledging that the comments were “inaccurate.”
Warren East, who has spent the last 12 years as CEO of ARM, has announced that he will retire on July 1. During his time in charge, East has overseen ARM’s processor design powerhouse through some of its most explosive growth, thanks to lucrative deals with companies like Apple, AMD, and Qualcomm.