Apple claims it has has designed iPhones and iPads that would drop chips supplied by Qualcomm and no long needs the chipmaker. The change would affect iPhones released in the fall of 2018, but Apple could still change course before then, these people said.
This is the latest stage in a dispute between Qualcomm and Apple over how much Apple thinks it should pay for Qualcomm tech. Qualcomm recently stopped providing some software for Apple to test its chips in its iPhone designs, and the pair are are locked in a multinational legal dispute over Qualcomm’s licensing terms to Apple.
Qualcomm said it is providing fully tested chips to Apple for iPhones. “We are committed to supporting Apple’s new devices consistent with our support of all others in the industry”, Qualcomm said in a statement.
Qualcomm has for several years supplied Apple’s modems - which help Apple’s phones connect to wireless data networks - Intel has provided upward of half of Apple’s modem chips for iPhones in recent years. Intel in 2015 acquired a firm that would let it replace more of Qualcomm’s chips in iPhones.
Of course these are inferior to Qualcom modem chips but Apple has never let this particular issue bother it. Besides if it lets Qualcomm get away with setting prices for its products, all Apple's suppliers will want the same thing and next thing Apple will have to play much more for its components.
“Apple is big enough that they want to support multiple paths, they can do that”, the company said. “Samsung did this too. A couple of years ago, Samsung designed Qualcomm out, but Qualcomm didn’t even know until it was close to time to ship” Samsung’s phones.