Apple and Chip giant Qualcomm have been locked in patent legal battles for the better part of the year and new reports suggest that this could cause a falling out between the two tech companies.
Latest reports claim that Apple might no longer use components sourced from Qualcomm in its future iPhones and iPads. He reports suggest that this might happen as soon as next year. Qualcomm has been Apple’s major provider for components such as cellular modems and processor chips. However, the launch of the iPhone 7 and 7 plus saw the introduction of options of the same handsets powered by Intel chips. If the report is true, then Intel could benefit greatly because it is the second biggest chip supplier.
The report stated that Apple is approaching the decision after Qualcomm denied the iPhone maker software that is essential for testing the performance of the chips in prototype devices. The move was part of the chip manufacturer’s response to the lawsuit that Apple filed against Qualcomm earlier this year, accusing the chip maker of demanding royalty fees for technology that does not belong to Qualcomm.
The two U.S-based tech companies have been going back and forth with lawsuits against each other. Qualcomm even attempted to ban iPhone sales in the U.S on the basis of patent infringement. This has contributed to Apple’s pursuit of a new generation of iPhones that are a complete overhaul of how iPhones work.
“The reason that we’re pursuing this is that Qualcomm‘s trying to charge Apple a percentage of the total iPhone value, and they do some really great work around standards-essential patents, but it’s one small part of what an iPhone is,” stated Apple CEO, Tim Cook during the firm’s second-quarter earnings call. Despite the report on Apple possibly terminating its relationship with Qualcomm, there have been no official reports confirming it. One of Qualcomm’s spokespersons stated that the firm would not comment on the matter. Apple has also not confirmed whether the speculation is true, though there is a high likelihood that the differences that the two companies have been having might signal the end of their relationship.