Apple might pick MediaTek to make modems for 2018 iPhones: Report

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on 27 Dec 2017
Apple might pick MediaTek to make modems for 2018 iPhones: Report
HIGHLIGHTS

The Taiwanese chip maker is reportedly in the running to make baseband modem chipsets for 2018 iPhones due to Apple’s growing rivalry with Qualcomm.

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Apple and Qualcomm have been at loggerheads with each other since the past 12 months. Just yesterday, a California court ordered Apple to pay a fine of $25,000 a day for failing to produce evidence against Qualcomm in the ongoing legal battle.

Given that Apple and Qualcomm are on a shaky wicket, Taiwanese chip maker MediaTek might have an opportunity to scoop up a contract for supplying baseband modem chipsets to Apple for the 2018 iPhones. This could see Apple drop Qualcomm as its modem supplier for the first time in almost a decade.

A report from Digitimes states that Apple is looking to increase its capacity for baseband modem chips after transferring half of its orders to Intel. Sources told the publication that MediaTek has the capacity to take on modem chip orders from Apple and that the company also has a pricing advantage over other chip makers, which is what makes it a candidate in Apple’s books.

This is not the first time we are hearing of MediaTek making modem chips for the 2018 Apple iPhones. Back in October, Wall Street Journal and Reuters reported that Apple’s 2018 iPhones and iPads will use modem chipsets from Intel or MediaTek. The WSJ report also quoted Apple’s ongoing legal battle with Qualcomm as the reason for the company dropping the Qualcomm as its LTE modem supplier for future iPhones.

San Diego-based Qualcomm has accused Apple of infringing six of its patents, while Apple has accused Qualcomm of overcharging for patent use and abuse of power.

The WSJ report further added that Qualcomm has withheld critical software needed to test its chipsets used on prototype iPhone and iPad models. Qualcomm reportedly stopped sharing the testing software after Apple filed a lawsuit against the chipmaker in January. However, the chip maker denies the same and said, “modem that could be used in the next generation iPhone has already been fully tested and released to Apple."

Will MediaTek gain what Qualcomm loses? We’ll have to wait and watch.

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