Among the latest developments, Apple’s COO, Jeff Williams, asserted that Qualcomm refused to supply 4G LTE processors for its latest iPhone family. CNET reported that the Apple executive revealed this information during the US Federal Trade Commission’s trial against Qualcomm. The Cupertino giant wanted to leverage Qualcomm’s modems, but instead, the company had to use Intel’s modem for the iPhone XS, iPhone XR and iPhone XS Max.
“In the end, they would not support us or sell us chips,” said Jeff Williams, Chief Operating Officer of Apple, during his testimony to the US FTC. “We have been unable to get them to support us on new design wins past that time (when Apple filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm),” Williams said. “This has been a challenge.” Williams also asserted that the company paid the chipmaker royalties amounting to $7.50 each iPhone.
Watch: Apple iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR First Look
This seems to be bad news as it could drastically affect the network performance of the forthcoming season of iPhones. In addition, Apple manufacturers its own chipset for its devices; however, it still relies on the third-party chip makers for hardware, enabling network connectivity. In 2016, the Cupertino giant started leveraging Intel modems with the launch of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. In simpler terms, Apple divided the business between Qualcomm and Intel. The company’s sole supplier of modem chips was Qualcomm till 2016.
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If Apple continues to use Intel‘s modems for its 2019 iPhone Series, then it could be a major issue for the company as Intel’s 5G chips might not be released until 2020. This will also give Android phones an edge over the iPhones as Apple might be late to offer 5G phones in the market.