Apple and Qualcomm are not exactly seeing eye-to-eye right now, and it turns out that both companies may already be prepared for not working together in the future.
Qualcomm hosted its Q3 2018 earnings report and call on Wednesday. Perhaps unsurprisingly Apple was brought up a few different times during the call, to which the company noted that it has seen “lower demand” from Apple related to its CDMA Technologies business. The company has seen higher demand from device makers in China, though, which is apparently doing more than simply offsetting the lower demand from Apple.
Meanwhile, looking to the future, Qualcomm said that it believes Apple is already making preparations to “solely use our competitors’ modems”, but added that Qualcomm will continue to support Apple’s “legacy devices” moving forward. The company reiterated that point, saying that Qualcomm is not planning on being part of Apple’s next “product launch”.
“We believe Apple intends to solely use our competitors’ modems rather than our modems in its next iPhone release. We will continue to provide modems for Apple legacy devices,” Davis said on the call. Qualcomm’s president, Cristiano Amon, underlined that point, saying that the company doesn’t expect to be part of Apple’s next product launch.”
However, it doesn’t appear to be all doom-and-gloom forever. When questioned if Qualcomm would ever work with Apple again, the company said that the industry is “dynamic”, and that if the “opportunity presents itself, I think we will be a supplier of Apple.” Of course, that doesn’t guarantee anything, and a lot of the legal issues would have to be cleared up, but at least Qualcomm appears to be open to the idea of working with Apple in the future.
Moving forward, that means we’ll be seeing Apple rely on Intel — at least for the foreseeable future. Apple went with Intel chips beginning with the iPhone 7 lineup, and they have appeared in some variants of the iPhone over the years since. With Qualcomm out of the picture, apparently, it means that we should see a lot more Intel moving forward with Apple’s mobile devices.
That would line up with previous reports, so the news from Qualcomm today isn’t completely out of left field by any means.
It was recently reported that Qualcomm had revamped its patent deals, which boiled down to an effort to get Apple back in line with how the working partnership had functioned up until the current dustup. It is also worth noting that Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, is still scheduled to be deposed on June 27.
News reports have been popping up regarding an ongoing dispute between chip manufacturer Qualcomm and Apple, with both companies leveling legal teams at one another over issues most concerned with patents and patent royalty payments.
Qualcomm even filed to block the sales of iPhones in the United States, and called out the iPhone and iPhone 8 in its own legal efforts. Meanwhile, Apple’s own efforts saw moves in the legal system, but also a huge shift towards introducing only Intel-based chips into its future iPhones, basically excising Qualcomm from the conversation from 2018 onward.