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Apple Planning to Drop Qualcomm Chipset for Future Devices

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Apple is reportedly designing its 2018 iPhones and iPads without Qualcomm LTE chips, despite being in the midst of a court battle with the chipmaker over patent royalties.

According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, Apple plans to move forward with chip suppliers Intel and MediaTek. Adding to the tension, WSJ also said that Qualcomm withheld software for testing in chips in Apple product prototypes.

Apple has used Qualcomm chips in its devices for many years. But Intel modem chip were introduced in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus last year. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus uses both Intel and Qualcomm chips.

For its part, Qualcomm said that its modem for the next-gen iPhone has “already been fully tested and released to Apple.” It added that it’s “committed to supporting Apple’s new devices.” But, the reassuring words don’t match the company’s actions.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple’s plans to stop using Qualcomm chips in its 2018 devices could still change. Apple could switch suppliers as late as June, three months before the launch of the 2018 iPhone.

The semiconductor and telecommunications technology giant has said that Apple has imported and sold iPhone devices infringe on one or more claims of six Qualcomm patents, which led to an investigation.

Apple had also filed a $1 billion USD lawsuit against Qualcomm, to which Qualcomm requested a block on manufacturing Apple products in China.

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  • Bill___A

    Although I generally am in favour of companies getting royalty fees for their intellectual property, it is my understanding that Qualcomm was increasing the fees in relation to the amount of money the devices sell for, even though this doesn’t really have anything to do with the modem or their patents (from what I understand). I abhor such behaviour and it is nothing short of greed. If I get more memory or a bigger screen size, I should not have to pay more to Qualcomm for their modem. I didn’t have to pay more for the network card in my computer when I added monitors.
    This said, I don’t feel sorry for them and I don’t blame Apple for moving away from them.

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