Apple and Intel are apparently in talks for the supply of 5G modems in upcoming iPhones. While this should come as no surprise, the report also indicates that there are “limited” communications with Qualcomm. Perhaps indicating a widening rift between the two companies.
iPhones are currently uses both Qualcomm and Intel modems in the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. However, a disagreement with Qualcomm has put this arrangement into question. Apple believes that the semiconductor manufacturer charges for patent licenses that it doesn’t actually own, and has since stopped paying those fees. Qualcomm has retaliated by filing several lawsuits.
Intel, admittedly, has less capable modems than Qualcomm; and is generally viewed as less desirable hardware. Despite this, the company is said to have thousands of engineers working on a new 5G LTE modem.
There’s still some time before 5G becomes an industry standard. The ITU roadmap has it penciled in for 2019/2020, which gives Intel quite a bit of time to refine its technology.
In the mean time, Apple looks to be reducing its dependence on Qualcomm; with rumours also claiming that Cupertino is in talks with MediaTek. The disagreement between the two companies could change the entire semiconductor industry, although we doubt that anything serious will come of it. After all, Apple and Samsung have been feuding for years and still maintain a business relationship.
[Source: Ars Technica]