(Reuters) — Apple held talks with Samsung Electronics and MediaTek together with current dealer Intel to provide 5G modem chips for 2019 iPhones, in line with an Apple government’s testimony at an ordeal between Qualcomm and the U.S. Federal Industry Fee on Friday.
Between 2011 and 2016, Apple depended on San Diego-based Qualcomm as the only real provider of such chips, which lend a hand iPhones connect with wi-fi networks. Beginning in 2016, Apple break up the trade between Intel and Qualcomm, however in 2018, Apple moved only to Intel for its latest telephones.
However Apple provide chain government Tony Blevins testified on Friday that Apple has additionally thought to be MediaTek and Samsung, one in every of its greatest competitors within the sensible telephone marketplace, to provide the chips for the following technology of wi-fi networks referred to as 5G. The ones networks are anticipated to start out rolling out this 12 months and supply quicker knowledge speeds than present 4G networks.
The FTC is suing Qualcomm alleging the chip provider engaged in anticompetitive patent licensing practices to keep a dominant place within the top rate modem chip marketplace.
At the stand at a federal courthouse in San Jose, California, Blevins testified that Apple has lengthy sought more than one providers for modem chips however signed an settlement with Qualcomm to solely provide the chips for the reason that chip provider introduced deep rebates on patent license prices in alternate for exclusivity.
In 2013, Apple broke off paintings with Intel to start out supplying modems for the iPad Mini 2 as a result of Apple would lose its rebates by means of the use of Intel’s chips, rendering Intel’s merchandise “economically unattractive” total.
Later that 12 months after value negotiations with Qualcomm didn’t move as Apple was hoping, Apple kicked off “Challenge Vintage” to safe a 2nd modem provider, Blevins testified.
Via 2016 and 2017, Apple offered Intel’s modems in a few of its iPhones but additionally nonetheless used Qualcomm chips. However Apple’s lawsuit towards Qualcomm filed in early 2017 brought about their trade dating to modify “in an excessively profound and detrimental means,” resulting in the use of most effective Intel’s modems for the telephones launched closing 12 months.
“All the idea of Challenge Vintage was once to discover a 2nd provider. No offense to (Intel) however we don’t wish to be unmarried provider with them. We would have liked each Qualcomm and (Intel) within the combine,” Blevins mentioned. Blevins additionally testified Apple thought to be making Intel the only real provider of modems for the Apple Watch, which added 4G connectivity in 2017 the use of Qualcomm chips.
Blevins mentioned that speaking with Samsung, whose Galaxy and Word units compete towards the iPhone, is “now not an excellent atmosphere” for Apple, however that Samsung is lately the biggest part provider to Apple.
Blevins didn’t say whether or not Apple had reached a choice on a 5G modem provider or whether or not it might free up a 5G iPhone in 2019. Bringing up assets, Bloomberg in the past reported that Apple would now not free up this kind of telephone till 2020.