Apple could ditch Qualcomm chips for future iPhones and iPads

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Qualcomm patents
Apple may rely on alternative companies instead.
Photo: Qualcomm

With the legal battles between Apple and Qualcomm showing no signs of coming to a close, a new report claims that Apple is working to develop new iPhones and iPads for 2018 which don’t make use of any Qualcomm chips whatsoever.

While Apple (obviously) hasn’t made any announcements yet, it is said to be looking at chips made by Intel and MediaTek. The reason for the lack of Qualcomm’s chips could be a mutual decision, due to Apple not wanting to continue to work with Qualcomm, and Qualcomm withholding the necessary testing software for its latest chips.

Apple has used Qualcomm chips since the very earliest days of the iPhone. That started to change with the arrival of the iPhone 7, and subsequent devices, which have used chips from both Qualcomm and Intel.

Apple vs. Qualcomm

The dispute between Apple and Qualcomm started in January this year, when Apple sued Qualcomm for allegedly withholding $1 billion in rebates because Apple assisted South Korean regulators investigating Qualcomm’s business.

Qualcomm hit back by arguing that Apple had breached its contract. The subsequent decision by Apple to withhold royalty payments to Qualcomm then meant that Qualcomm was forced to revise its earnings forecasts to give a smaller number, due to Apple cutting off one of its major sources of revenue.

Apple’s manufacturers also got dragged into the fight, with even Apple’s biggest rivals stepping up to support Apple. Since then, the battle escalated — with Qualcomm attempting to ban iPhones being imported to the United States that use chips, “other than those supplied by Qualcomm affiliates.” Most recently, Qualcomm tried to sue Apple in China as well, trying to stop the manufacturing and sale of iPhones in one of Apple’s biggest and most crucial markets.

Speaking recently at the Wall Street Journal’s D.Live tech conference, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said that he thinks the feud between the two companies can be settled, but it’s going to come down to whether or not the right fee is negotiated.

Source: WSJ