Apple could break up with Qualcomm next year, rumours suggest

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Apple might have plans to formally end its relation with U.S.-based chip manufacturer Qualcomm, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

Citing sources familiar with the issue, the Journal reported that Apple “is designing iPhones and iPads for next year that would jettison the chipmaker’s components.”

While Apple has been embroiled in a lengthy legal battle with Qualcomm over allegations that the chip manufacturer isn’t charging a fair price on the chips Apple needs for its smartphones and tablets, the court battle isn’t why Apple’s thinking of making a switch.

Reuters reports that the dispute is a result of the fact that Qualcomm has ceased to provide software that Apple needs to test chips in iPhone designs.

In response, Qualcomm told Reuters that it provides fully tested chips to Apple.

“We are committed to supporting Apple’s new devices consistent with our support of all others in the industry,” Qualcomm told Reuters.

Reports suggest that Apple might decide to tap Intel or MediaTek for the internal components needed to power iPhones and iPads.

Intel already provides roughly half of the modem chips that Apple needs for its smartphones and tablets.

Stacy Ragson, an analyst with asset management firm AB Bernstein, told Reuters that it’s still too early to determine whether or not Apple will actually make the switch.

“Apple is big enough that they want to support multiple paths, they can do that,” said Ragson, in an interview with Reuters. “Samsung did this too. A couple of years ago, Samsung designed Qualcomm out, but Qualcomm didn’t even know until it was close to time to ship.”

Source: Wall Street Journal, Reuters

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