Apple’s battle with Qualcomm — its modem supplier for the iPhone and iPad — has only intensified this year. And so, to reduce its reliance on the San Diego-based company, Apple is considering using modem from MediaTek in future iPhones.
The report from DigiTimes claims that Apple has already transferred “half of its orders to Intel from Qualcomm” but is still looking for additional capacity. MediaTek has the technology, capacity and pricing advantages which makes it an ideal candidate for supplying modem to Apple in 2018.
The sources said the Apple’s switching 50% of its orders for iPhone modem chipsets to Intel from Qualcomm is part of its self-protection efforts made after filing a lawsuit in January 2017 against Qualcomm’s allegedly unfair patent royalty calculation formula involving modem chipsets used in iPhone devices.
The report does claim that its difficult for MediaTek to become a regular player in Apple’s supply chain. Instead, the company can work with Apple on its various other product lines including wireless charging, smart speakers and more.
While MediaTek does have a number of basebands, their performance still lags behind when compared to basebands from Qualcomm. This is also the case with modem that Intel currently supplies to Apple for use in the iPhone 7, iPhone 8 and iPhone X.
Tests have repeatedly shown that Intel modem offers slower LTE download speeds and are less power efficient than basebands supplied by Qualcomm to Apple. However, with the battle between Qualcomm and Apple going from bad to worse, the Cupertino company is keen to reduce its dependence on Qualcomm for basebands. Nonetheless, I don’t expect Apple to switch MediaTek modem in its 2018 iPhone lineup due to its inferior performance. Even Android OEMs have avoided using Mediatek modem in their mid-range to flagship devices due to various connectivity issues with them.
Like this post? Share it!