There are no signs that Apple and Qualcomm could come to terms anytime soon, so the iPhone maker is already considering plan B, which involves a potential modem deal with MediaTek for the next smartphone generation.
A report from Digitimes reveals that Apple has already transferred half of its orders from Qualcomm to Intel, and now Cupertino is seeking to further cut reliance on its court rival by signing a deal with MediaTek.
Specifics are quite vague right now and come from unnamed “industry sources,” which means that a certain amount of skepticism is required, though it does make sense for Apple to look into ways that would allow the company to step away from the technologies built by the party it’s fighting against in court.
Apple and Qualcomm have sued each other for patent infringement several times throughout the year, with the latter asking the court to ban sales of the iPhone in the United States. A ruling in all these cases will take years to be made, but in the meantime both are already looking for business investments without the other being involved.
Apple, on the other hand, could be seeking ways to prevent such disputes concerning next-generation iPhones by joining forces with MediaTek, though the report states it’s unlikely a long-term deal can be reached.
In the short term, however, Apple believes that MediaTek meets the three principles that it’s reportedly interested in, namely “leading technological competitiveness, comprehensive product blueprints, and reliable logistic support.”
While the 2018 iPhone lineup could indeed come with MediaTek chips, there’s a good chance the two companies could partner for other products, including smart speakers, wireless charging devices, and wireless connection systems, the same report adds.
Apple hasn’t obviously commented on these reports, but it’ll be interesting to see if the company indeed makes the switch to MediaTek and if performance of the iPhone is in any way affected given that Qualcomm is currently one of the leading chip makers worldwide.