Is Apple’s relationship with Qualcomm ready?

Apple and Qualcomm have never had the easiest relationship, and the two companies were involved in lawsuits before they agreed to a peace deal that brought Qualcomm’s 5G radios to iPhones.

Now, it looks like that partnership is on the rise.

Why is everything changing?

There are three initiating statements for this line of thought:

  1. ONE Digitization report claims that Apple is talking to new suppliers ASE Technology and Siliconware Precision Industries about some of the work needed to build their own 5G modems, rather than using Qualcomm’s.
  2. News that Apple wants TSMC self-developed modem production is expected to appear in the iPhone 2023 (or possibly this year) and be manufactured using the 5nm or 4nm (or 6nm, according to other reports).
  3. Apple has ask the US government to intervene in an ongoing dispute between itself and Qualcomm. The company has asked for a review of the appeal decision because it could prevent Apple from challenging the patents in a new case after the agreement between the two companies closes.

Put these three sets of claims together, and aside from some confusion about the timing of these self-designed 5G chips (this year or next), you’ll find a company pushing for the making of relationships. manufacturing partner to supply its own modems – and is preparing for any further litigation with Qualcomm.

Business relationship

Apple and Qualcomm had a challenging history until they resolve their dispute with a multi-billion dollar deal in 2019. Apple had hoped to work with Intel to create a 5G modem, but development wasn’t progressing fast enough and the company had to hit the deal to introduce 5G on iPhone.

Apple also purchased Intel modem development resources in a separate multi-billion dollar deal. They now work on the company’s own silicon development teams and have been involved in the development of Apple’s unique 5G modem.

The three pieces of news above suggest that work is now entering its final stages, which suggests the Apple/Qualcomm relationship may well be coming to an end.

Why is it important?

As 5G deployment accelerates and countries begin to adopt fast 5G (usually mmWave), the strategic importance of the mobile broadband standard continues to grow. Like me said beforeCompanies across all sectors will seek a business advantage through products and services designed to take a shortcut to catch this connection.

We all expect 5G to arrive on tablets and laptops, while analysts predict mmWave-enabled phone shipments to grow to 43% of smartphone market share by 2020. 2026. We also know Apple has worked with mmWave in its labs at least since 2017and now participate in the development of 6G.

David McQueen, director of research at ABI Research, explains:

“The increase in sales of 5G mmWave smartphones will be driven by the introduction of a larger number of smartphone models, driven by flagship devices from Samsung and Apple’s iPhone, as well as by ecosystem expansion. After a slow start, mostly limited to the US market, momentum behind mobile mmWave continues to build with several regions and countries targeting rollout, expanding across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, while receiving support from a growing number of chipset vendors. ”

Apple maintain a growing place in both hyperconnected businesses and consumer markets. ABI estimates 580.3 million 5G smartphones will be shipped in 2021, including 81.25 million mm-wave enabled devices. Apple currently occupies a major part of this market and certainly wants to increase that share.

The company almost certainly hopes Leverage your own technical expertise to build a unique 5G experience on top of the platform. That could be related to something as simple as power management and battery life.

But it can also include advanced services and will (I think) certainly sees Apple exploiting its control over hardware, software, and thanks to its own modems, networking technology to enable next generation platforms and services. (Think of cars, glasses, and everything else.) That’s assuming Qualcomm doesn’t sue this effort first..,. so Apple appealed to the US government.

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Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc. Is Apple’s relationship with Qualcomm ready?

Fry Electronics Team

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