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Apple reportedly building iPhones, iPads without Qualcomm chips

Enlarge / The iPhone eight and iPhone eight Plus.

Samuel Axon

The newest information within the Apple-Qualcomm saga means that Apple could also be making an attempt to go away the chipmaker behind as quickly as subsequent yr. A report by The Wall Road Journal states that Apple is designing iPhones and iPads that don’t use Qualcomm elements. As an alternative, the tech large might supply modem chips from Intel or MediaTek.

Apple started stepping away from Qualcomm chips with the introduction of the iPhone 7 and seven Plus, each of which us a mixture of Qualcomm and Intel chips. The iPhone eight and eight Plus, which got here out in September, additionally use a mixture of Qualcomm and Intel chips.

Based on the report, the choice got here after Qualcomm withheld software program wanted by Apple to check the chips in its machine prototypes. This reportedly occurred after Apple filed a federal lawsuit in opposition to Qualcomm in January for charging billions in patent royalty charges “for applied sciences they don’t have anything to do with.”

The dispute continued to escalate into 2017, when Apple stopped paying licensing income to iPhone producers, which resulted in no funds for Qualcomm. The chipmaker then filed a number of patent-infringement fits in opposition to Apple and tried to ban iPhone gross sales within the US. Qualcomm just lately requested a ban on iPhone manufacturing and gross sales in China as nicely.

Qualcomm is quoted within the report as saying that its chip that could possibly be used within the new iPhone has “already been absolutely examined and launched to Apple” and that the corporate is “dedicated to supporting Apple’s new units.”

Qualcomm presently holds 50 % of the standalone modem chip market. Each Intel and MediaTek stand to realize a bigger piece of that market if Apple decides to diversify its modem chip provide. Presently, MediaTek has a 25 % share and Intel has only a six % share.

There is not any assure that iPhones and iPads sans-Qualcomm chips will likely be launched subsequent yr. Apple reportedly has till June to finalize its modem chip suppliers. Nonetheless, that will be pushing it near the standard September transport timeframe for brand new iPhones, and even nearer to the debut of a brand new iPad Professional, which might come as early as subsequent summer time.

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