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Apple considered Samsung and MediaTek for 5G modems in 2019 iPhones

(Reuters) — Apple held talks with Samsung Electronics and MediaTek together with present dealer Intel to offer 5G modem chips for 2019 iPhones, in step with an Apple govt’s testimony at an ordeal between Qualcomm and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Friday.

Between 2011 and 2016, Apple depended on San Diego-based Qualcomm as the only provider of such chips, which lend a hand iPhones hook up with wi-fi networks. Starting in 2016, Apple cut up the industry between Intel and Qualcomm, however in 2018, Apple moved only to Intel for its latest telephones.

But Apple provide chain govt Tony Blevins testified on Friday that Apple has additionally considered MediaTek and Samsung, one in every of its biggest competitors in the sensible telephone marketplace, to offer the chips for the following era of wi-fi networks referred to as 5G. Those networks are anticipated to begin rolling out this 12 months and supply sooner information speeds than present 4G networks.

The FTC is suing Qualcomm alleging the chip provider engaged in anticompetitive patent licensing practices to maintain a dominant place in the top class modem chip marketplace.

On the stand at a federal courthouse in San Jose, California, Blevins testified that Apple has lengthy sought more than one providers for modem chips however signed an settlement with Qualcomm to completely provide the chips since the chip provider presented deep rebates on patent license prices in alternate for exclusivity.

In 2013, Apple broke off paintings with Intel to begin supplying modems for the iPad Mini 2 as a result of Apple would lose its rebates by way of the use of Intel’s chips, rendering Intel’s merchandise “economically unattractive” total.

Later that 12 months after price negotiations with Qualcomm didn’t move as Apple was hoping, Apple kicked off “Project Antique” to protected a 2nd modem provider, Blevins testified.

By 2016 and 2017, Apple offered Intel’s modems in a few of its iPhones but additionally nonetheless used Qualcomm chips. But Apple’s lawsuit towards Qualcomm filed in early 2017 brought about their industry courting to modify “in a very profound and negative manner,” resulting in the use of handiest Intel’s modems for the telephones launched ultimate 12 months.

“The entire concept of Project Antique was to find a second supplier. No offense to (Intel) but we don’t want to be single supplier with them. We wanted both Qualcomm and (Intel) in the mix,” Blevins stated. Blevins additionally testified Apple considered making Intel the only provider of modems for the Apple Watch, which added 4G connectivity in 2017 the use of Qualcomm chips.

Blevins stated that speaking with Samsung, whose Galaxy and Note gadgets compete towards the iPhone, is “not an ideal environment” for Apple, however that Samsung is recently the most important element provider to Apple.

Blevins didn’t say whether or not Apple had reached a call on a 5G modem provider or whether or not it might liberate a 5G iPhone in 2019. Citing resources, Bloomberg prior to now reported that Apple would no longer liberate the sort of telephone till 2020.

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