Apple iPhones 5G modems may come from Samsung for 2019January 13, 2019
Apple relied on Qualcomm as the sole supplier of such chips till 2016, which help iPhones connect to wireless networks. In 2016, Apple split the business between Intel and Qualcomm, Again in 2018, Apple moved solely to Intel. And now Apple held talks with Samsung Electronics and MediaTek along with Intel to supply 5G modem chips for 2019 iPhones,
The FTC is suing Qualcomm alleging the chip supplier engaged in anti-competitive patent licensing practices to preserve a dominant position in the premium modem chip market.
On the stand at a federal courthouse in San Jose, California, Apple supply chain executive Blevins testified that Apple has long sought multiple suppliers for modem chips but signed an agreement with Qualcomm to exclusively supply the chips because the chip supplier offered deep rebates on patent license costs in exchange for exclusivity.
Blevins said that talking with Samsung, whose Galaxy and Note devices compete against the iPhone, is “not an ideal environment” for Apple, but that Samsung is currently the largest component supplier to Apple. He did not say whether Apple had reached a decision on a 5G modem supplier or whether it would release a 5G iPhone in 2019.