An executive of Apple Inc, on Friday, in his testimony at a trial between Qualcomm Inc and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission unveiled that for supply of 5G modem chips to be used in 2019 iPhone models, Apple held talks with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, MediaTek Inc as well as its existing vendor Intel Corp.
For supply of modem chips, which help phone connect to wireless network, San-Diego based Qualcomm remained the sole supplier to Apple between 2011 and 2016, which Apple started splitting between Qualcomm and Intel afterward until 2018 when Apple dropped the Qualcomm and Intel become the sole supplier to it.
Samsung, one of its largest competitors in the smart phone market and MediaTek were also considered by Apple for supply of chips for the 5G, a next generation of wireless network, said Tony Blevins, supply chain executive of Apple, in his testimonial statement on Friday. 5G networks are likely to be rolling out this year, providing faster speeds for data than what we currently have with 4G networks.
The FTC filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm claiming the company to be engaged in anticompetitive patent licensing practices in order to maintain its domination in market of premium modem chips.
Blevins also testified that Apple has always went for more than one suppliers for modem chips but, deep rebates on patent license fees offer by the Qualcomm in exchange for exclusivity lead the Apple to sign an agreement with the chips supplier to supply the chips exclusively.
In 2013 Apple broke off business with Intel, rendering its products “economically unattractive” overall, just because of the fears to lose rebates offered by the Qualcomm, but later that year Apple started its “Project Antique” to secure a second modem supplier as the negotiations with Qualcomm did not resulted as was expected by Apple.
About launching of 5G phones by Apple, Belvins didn’t say anything, but Apple has been reportedly to be launching them in 2020.