Qualcomm Refused To Sell Chips For Apple iPhones
It was the talk of the town when Apple decided to ditch Qualcomm’s chips and go with Intel instead. However now, it has come to the forefront that Apple wanted to have Qualcomm chips on their iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR models but was refused a sale by Qualcomm themselves. Apple had originally wanted to give half the contract to Intel and half to Qualcomm. It was in 2016 when Apple started splitting the chip orders between Intel and Qualcomm. But this time they had to give the entire modem order to Intel.
These revelations have come out from a senior member of Apple who revealed these information during his testimony to the US Federal Trade Commission. Apple and Qualcomm have been at loggerheads for quite some time now with Qualcomm being on trial, accused of monopolistic practices. The case registered is based on a complaint brought by the Federal Trade Commission in 2017. Apple had also sued Qualcomm just three days after the FTC filed its complaint. The accusations were similar to that of the FTC stating Qualcomm strong- armed companies into paying royalties.
This however has not been a single sided battle and Qualcomm itself has accused Apple of patent infringement in China and Germany. This has led to a decision of banning a few older iPhone models in China as well. Intel and Samsung has also filed amicus briefs supporting the FTC. Both those companies being competitors of Qualcomm.
Implications On The Future Of Smartphone Industry
While Qualcomm has already made strides in the 5G development, Intel’s 5G chips are not ready yet and may take another year. This means manufacturers who use Qualcomm’s hardware will be able to bring 5G ready phones to the market faster than Intel chip users.
On the other hand, if the prices in terms of royalties are reduced by Qualcomm, phone manufacturers may use that extra money to focus on other features. The royalty reduction however wouldn’t trickle down to reduction of phone prices for customers.