Qualcomm has admitted that Apple will not be using any of its modems for the 2018 range of iPhones. This information comes through an earnings call with the company, where Chief Financial Officer George Davis said, “Apple intends to solely use our competitor’s modems rather than our modems in its next iPhone release.”
There have been multiple reports about the growing rift between Qualcomm and Apple; the result of a patent dispute between the two companies. Apple sued its modem supplier over the cost of LTE modems, where it claims that Qualcomm was using its dominant position in the market to get more favourable contracts. Qualcomm counter sued saying that Apple owed it for unpaid royalties.
Apple itself has been using both Intel and Qualcomm modems on the iPhone. An attempt to break away from its reliance on a single supplier for components.
Despite this, the supply chain diversification has had some unfortunate side effects. Qualcomm is often the first to point out that its LTE modems perform much better than Intel’s. A situation that is backed up by multiple benchmarks.
Qualcomm has also already announced that it is ready to begin production of new 5G antenna modules, preparing for the arrival of the next generation wireless communication standard. Intel, on the other hand, is said to only be ready later in 2019.
This won’t hurt the range of iPhones that are set to be announced later this year, but it would potentially get in the way of the 2019 range. Unless, of course, Apple and Qualcomm patch things up before the end of the year.