The next lot of Apple mobile devices will not have the Qualcomm wireless chips installed in them. Rather, it would be wireless modems from a competing company that would be getting the honors with Intel being the most likely beneficiary here.
The above development shouldn’t come as a surprise though given the nasty spat that Apple and Qualcomm are engaged in at the moment. Both companies have filed suits and countersuits worth billions of dollars. While Apple accuses the chip maker of charging royalties for technologies that it has nothing to do with, the latter claims its technology forms the core of every iPhone and iPad devices ever made.
The case is still being heard in the US with Qualcomm seeking a ban on the imports of iPhone and iPad devices in the US that have Intel chips installed. Company CFO George Davis, however, said they would continue to supply the modems for older generation iPad and iPhone devices that are still in production. It is just that the upcoming lot of ‘i’ devices that would be missing out on the Qualcomm LTE chips.
What remains shrouded in mystery is which other company would be supplying the modems. Intel is the only other company with matching clout and manufacturing prowess that perhaps is the safest to bet on though there has been no official confirmation on this yet. Then, there also are rumors of MediaTek too chipping in with at least a portion of the chip requirement, with Intel still being the majority supplier. Unconfirmed sources meanwhile maintain it is the Intel XMM 7560 modems that would be fitted into the next-gen iOS devices.
There also are reports of Apple planning to design their own custom chips in future. However, that isn’t something that is likely to happen overnight, and it could still be some years for the first iPhone or iPad powered by Apple’s own chips taking centerstage. Till that happens, Intel with MediaTek is likely to benefit to some extent at least.