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posted by martyb on Tuesday October 31 2017, @05:08PM   Printer-friendly
from the you-want-chips-with-that? dept.

Apple is considering completely switching away from Qualcomm components, such as modems, in future iterations of the iPhone. Intel modems have already been used in some iPhones, and MediaTek is also under consideration:

Apple Inc has designed iPhones and iPads that would drop chips supplied by Qualcomm Inc, according to two people familiar with the matter. The change would affect iPhones released in the fall of 2018, but Apple could still change course before then, these people said. They declined to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the matter with the media.

The dispute stems from a change in supply arrangements under which Qualcomm has stopped providing some software for Apple to test its chips in its iPhone designs, one of the people told Reuters.

The two companies are locked in a multinational legal dispute over the Qualcomm's licensing terms to Apple.

Qualcomm told Reuters it is providing fully tested chips to Apple for iPhones. "We are committed to supporting Apple's new devices consistent with our support of all others in the industry," Qualcomm said in a statement.

Apple and other companies are suing Qualcomm over licensing fees. Apple has had similar hardware-level disputes with Samsung in the past. Apple designs its own ARM chips but has to have them manufactured by Samsung or TSMC.

Also at Bloomberg and 9to5Mac.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by qzm on Tuesday October 31 2017, @08:31PM (3 children)

    by qzm (3260) on Tuesday October 31 2017, @08:31PM (#590195)

    So, First Apple have demanded Qualcomm give them preferential licensing agreements (yes, thats is what this whole spat has been over, Apple demanded Qualcomm license them its IP for a small fraction of what everyone else pays, because apparently thats what the Fair in FRAND means to Apple..)
    The Apple refused to pay Qualcomm the license fees that they owed (and still refuse_.
    Then Apple intentionally nobbled the performance of Qualcomm chipsets to match the lower capabilities of Intel parts they were using as a second source, directly against agreements with Qualcomm.
    Then Apple tried to use their political position in the US to get the courts to punish Qualcomm for not giving them what they demanded.
    And now Apple are looking to drop Qualcomm because 'reasons' (with a very thin fabrication about Qualcomm not giving Apple special internal test software - gee, I wonder why).

    Just perhaps Qualcomm are learning from Apples treatement of Imagination, where they did a generation of 'hey Imagination, we are great mates, show us all the custom internals of your GPU because we would like to work with you and make a custom version' followed by 'Ha! Suckers! not we have our own GPU, it looks one hell of a lot like yours, and the APIs are all pretty much the same, but its ours, good bye!'

    It will be more interesting to see the outcome in China where Qualcomm are suing Apple in a country where Apple doesnt get special treatment as much (nor does Qualcomm, they are not Chinese).

    I wonder how Apple will spin the strongly inferior Intel chipsets as 'better' to their faithful.

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  • (Score: 2) by Bobs on Tuesday October 31 2017, @09:12PM (2 children)

    by Bobs (1462) on Tuesday October 31 2017, @09:12PM (#590220)

    No: wildly inaccurate: Qualcomm started to demand a % of the sale price of every iOS device with their modems.

    "The battle between the two companies began earlier this year year when the Federal Trade Commission accused Qualcomm of forcing Apple to use its baseband chips at higher patent royalties. Apple then filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Qualcomm, and Qualcomm counter sued."

    "Apple stopped paying licensing fees to Qualcomm at that time, as did Apple suppliers. Apple maintains that Qualcomm charges excessive licensing fees by requesting a percentage of an iPhone's entire value, while Qualcomm says its technology is "at the heart of every iPhone."

    More at: [] []

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by qzm on Tuesday October 31 2017, @09:41PM (1 child)

      by qzm (3260) on Tuesday October 31 2017, @09:41PM (#590234)

      Which is exactly the same deal EVERYONE ELSE GETS.
      What part of that do you not understand?
      Apple are the ones demanding (and withholding payment until they get..) a special deal, that only Apple would get.

      You will note that your links above are simply what Apple is trying to spin it as.

      The fact is that all manufacturers get the same damn deal - if you want Qualcomms CDMA chipsets, you page a %age of device cost, it has always been that way.
      Apple simply dont want to do that now.

      Please describe how is it 'fair' that apple get a special deal?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 31 2017, @10:33PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 31 2017, @10:33PM (#590253)

        To add to that pretty much all cell modems have done this for years. MS, moto, Intel, qcom, bcom, etc, etc, etc all have their bits you pay for. It is usually a % of the phone final cost. QCOM is estimated by most folks to be 2-5 bucks a phone if you do not buy their chipset. If you get the chipset they lower it. They have had that deal for years. Like all of their competitors.