Apple is designing its iPhone and iPads for next year without any components from Qualcomm, according to The Wall Street Journal. Apple’s consideration to move away from the chipmaker comes during an escalating legal battle with Qualcomm across the globe.
Instead, Apple may choose to build its 2018 iPhone and iPads with only Intel LTE modem chips, and some possibly from MediaTek.
Reuters reported a change in supply arrangements — where Qualcomm stopped providing some software for Apple to test its chips in its iPhone designs — could be what is causing the dispute.
As pointed out by MacRumors, Apple chose only Qualcomm LTE modems for several years, but added Intel to the mix with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in 2016. In the US, Verizon and Sprint iPhone 8 models use chips from Qualcomm, while AT&T and T-Mobile models use chips from Intel.
“We are committed to supporting Apple’s new devices consistent with our support of all others in the industry,” Qualcomm said in a statement to ZDNet.
The Wall Street Journal cautioned Apple’s plans could still change, even up until June 2018, three months before the expected launch of the next iPhone. Shares of Qualcomm fell roughly 6.5 percent on Tuesday morning following the reports.
The companies’ legal battles have been raging for months. It began in January with Apple accusing the semiconductor giant of overcharging for chips and withholding nearly $1 billion in contractual rebate payments. Qualcomm has also responded with a lawsuit in the US that opened an ITC probe.
An Apple spokesperson wasn’t immediately available for comment.
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