Apple's relationship with Qualcomm is coming to a bitter end. On a recent earnings call, Qualcomm CFO George Davis confirmed that the Cupertino brand intends to drop its modems from future iPhones.
Apple will instead rely on other companies for the component going forward. While Qualcomm didn't mention Intel, it's the only other supplier of that component for Apple's smartphones.
"We believe Apple intends to solely use our competitor's modems rather than our modems in its next iPhone release," said Davis, as CNET reports. "We will continue to provide modems for Apple legacy devices."
Apple Is Ready To Drop Qualcomm
If true, it's not surprising. Earlier this July, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple will be ditching Qualcomm as the sole supplier of cellular modems following its legal fallout with the chipmaker.
Apple began using both Intel and Qualcomm modems ever since 4G networks rolled out, but the latter company has long been aggressive in claiming that its components are faster. Just recently, it showed off test speeds for the forthcoming Snapdragon 845 chip, claiming its products are superior to Intel's.
How Qualcomm Makes Money
Most of Qualcomm's profits come from licensing smartphone radios and chips to other companies, and Apple is one of its biggest customers. However, the two companies have been battling it out in court over royalty payments since 2017. Apple initially sued Qualcomm for allegedly overcharging to use its LTE modems, whereupon Qualcomm counter-sued, saying Apple actually owned it more money in royalties and that it infringed on some of its patents and shared proprietary information with rival Intel.
Qualcomm has also been attempting to get iPhone sales banned in the United States, but to no avail.
What Happens When 5G Rolls Around?
The relationship between both companies has now turned into nothing but ashes, which could significantly impact Apple once Qualcomm's 5G modems ship later this year. Intel, on the other hand, has said it won't have 5G chips until 2019. There's a chance Apple will try to cozy up to Qualcomm once it feels a little bit behind on the 5G bandwagon, although that seems highly unlikely since their formal business relationship appears to be beyond repair at this point.
Apple is also said to be exploring other components from Qualcomm it can drop, such as Bluetooth chips and Wi-Fi modems. Generally, though, Apple wants to be as independent as possible going forward. Heck, it's even rumored to be developing a proprietary chip for MacBooks.
Do you think it's wise for Apple to be dropping Qualcomm, especially in the impending arrival of true 5G? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!