Apple will be ditching Qualcomm’s modems and instead use only Intel modems in the 2018 iPhone series. Qualcomm’s Chief Financial Officer George Davis confirmed this in an earnings call, according to a report by CNET. This is not surprising given that Apple and Qualcomm are involved in a major legal battle in the United States and other parts of the world over patent infringement and unfair licensing terms.
According to CNET, Davis was quoted as saying, “Apple intends to solely use our competitor’s modems rather than our modems in its next iPhone release.” Given that Intel is the only competitor, it is safe to presume that the 2018 iPhone series will feature only these.
That Apple would ditch Qualcomm was something that analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had also predicted. Apple has been using both Qualcomm and Intel modems so far, though it is believe that the former’s modems are faster.
Apple and Qualcomm are in the middle of a patent battle that is spread across the world. Qualcomm has gone ahead to demand a ban on the import of iPhones in the US as well. It was reported in June that Apple had also filed a petition challenging the validity of four of Qualcomm’s patents.
The case began in 2017, when Apple sued Qualcomm for overcharging on the use of its LTE modems. The case is not just limited to the United States. As Bloomberg reported, trials are scheduled for later this year in China and Germany as well in the Apple vs Qualcomm dispute.
Apple on its part has asked the US Patents office to cancel four of the Qualcomm patents, alleging that these do not cover new ideas. All these patents are involved in the lawsuit that Qualcomm filed against Apple in 2017 over infringement.
In June, it was also reported that in one case, staff lawyers at the US International Trade Commission had concluded that Apple did infringe on Qualcomm’s patents around battery-saving technology. However the trial has only started, and decision is awaited. However, the judge overseeing the case usually goes with the advice of the lawyers, so in this case, Apple has already been dealt a serious blow.
The ITC is yet to decide on whether the import of iPhones, which infringe this patent, should be banned. Apple is also suing Qualcomm for $1 billion over unfair licensing terms for it technology and accused the chip-maker of engaging in anti-competitive practices.