It is a known fact that all is not well between Apple and Qualcomm, the company that supplies comm chips to Apple which is used in connecting the iOS devices to various networks. Due to Qualcomm’s monopolistic practices to prevent Apple from sourcing key components from its competitors and withholding software critical to testing, Apple might be shifting its dependency from Qualcomm to other companies such as Intel and MediaTek.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is considering building the iPhone, iPad devices only with modem chips of Intel and MediaTek. This may be because of the fact that “Qualcomm has withheld software critical to testing its chips in iPhone and iPad prototypes, according to one of the people”.
Apple sued Qualcomm for USD$1 billion following an FTC complaint alleging Qualcomm engaging in anti-competitive behavior. Since the start of what will likely be a year-long battle, Qualcomm has stopped sharing the testing software of the chips used in iPhones and iPads.
The fight prolonged with Qualcomm stating that its technology is “at the heart of every iPhone”. According to some reports, Apple accused Qualcomm of charging it at least five times more in payments than all the other cellular patent licensors.
However, both the companies might settle things by solving the dispute between them. Currently, Apple is just looking for alternative options to drop Qualcomm. Apple may change its thoughts by continuing to use Qualcomm components as it has for years.
Qualcomm said in a statement that it is “committed to supporting Apple’s new devices” as it does for others in the industry and “modem that could be used in the next generation iPhone has already been fully tested and released to Apple.”
Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, has stated that he hopes to settle the disputes with Qualcomm and that a lengthy court battle is not in the cards. He also mentioned that he knows that might not work and a court proceeding will happen if it needs to.