Apple Plans to Use Only Intel Modems
Apple will integrate in its new iPhones modems of Intel and not of Qualcomm as it has done in recent years.
“Apple plans to use only our competitors’ modems, rather than our modems, on the next iPhone models,” said George Davis, chief financial officer of the company. Although Davis did not mention Intel’s explicit name, it’s pretty clear that he meant it.
Between the two companies from California flows a lot of bad blood that started because of a business dispute. In the past, Qualcomm was the only provider of modems for iPhones, but three years ago, Apple began incorporating Intel modems in half of its devices. At the beginning of 2017, Apple sued Qualcomm for excessive royalties it had to pay for Qualcomm’s LTE modems; In response, Qualcomm sued Apple and claimed Apple had damaged its intellectual property, illegally used its patents and even disclosed its trade secrets to Intel. At the height of the struggle, Qualcomm tried to prevent the marketing of iPhones in the United States a move that would have been accepted would have caused tremendous damage to Apple.
However, Cristiano Amon, head of the processors division at Qualcomm, said that despite Apple‘s latest move, this does not mean that the companies will not work together again. And apparently he knows what he’s talking about. Reliance on one manufacturer of modems could slow down the pace of new iPhones; In addition, according to estimates in the field, Qualcomm is ahead of Intel in the production of 5G modems and will begin its dedication this year. Intel will probably start supplying 5G modems only next year. In addition, in order to preempt the blow, Qualcomm published three days ago a study that states that the modem that comes as part of the Snapdragon 845 chipset on Android devices is faster than Intel models that come with the iPhone.
Earlier this year it was reported that Apple would switch to using its own processors in future clusters and not use Intel processors. However, as far as modems are concerned, Apple probably still needs Intel.