The legal dispute between Apple and Qualcomm is far from coming to an end, and as a result, the Cupertino-based tech giant is looking into ways to reduce its reliance on the chip maker.

One such step is expected to be made this year when the new-generation iPhone models will launch without baseband chips manufacturers by Qualcomm, as Apple plans to rely exclusively on Intel.

This is what reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says in a note to investors, adding that Intel will become exclusive supplier for the 2018 iPhone generation only. This means Qualcomm could return at some point in the future, maybe even for the 2019 lineup, as Intel might not have the capabilities to meet Apple’s requirements.

Intel and 5G support

But if Qualcomm does return as a supplier for the iPhone, it’s only likely to happen as a result of a settlement between the two companies, though for the time being such a resolution isn’t believed to be considered by Apple or Qualcomm.

On the other hand, the analyst says Intel might not prepare its baseband chips for 5G support, and this means Apple might be forced to continue its collaboration with Qualcomm, at least temporarily.

The 2018 lineup of iPhones is expected to comprise three different models, two of which would come with OLED panels. First, it’s going to be a 5.8-inch OLED version launched as a successor to the iPhone X, but also a bigger 6.4- or 6.5-inch device that could be positioned as a Plus-sized sibling of the same model.

But at the same time, Apple is also believed to be working on a more affordable iPhone model with a 6.1-inch LCD screen. All models, however, will come with Face ID, though it’s likely that in order to cut the price of the LCD iPhone, Apple could drop several features on this device, including 3D Touch.

As per Apple’s typical release schedule, the debut of the next-generation iPhone is projected to take place in the fall.

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