It seems like so long ago that Apple and Qualcomm kept suing each other. Apple also complained about Qualcomm’s questionable sales tactics. As a result, Apple was desperate to find a company that could supply 5G modem chips. For a while, it seemed like Intel had replaced Qualcomm as the provider of 4G LTE modem chips for the company iPhone.
However, Apple didn’t trust Intel’s 5G modem and eventually reached an agreement with Qualcomm that reportedly paid the chip designer $ 4.5 billion. The settlement resulted in both parties dropping all lawsuits against each other. Apple also received a six-year license agreement with a two-year extension and signed a multi-year agreement to supply chips. In the end, Apple spent an estimated $ 1 billion to take over the Intel modem business for smartphones. In December last year, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technologies, Johny Srouji, told the company’s employees at a city hall meeting that Apple had begun building its own modem chips for future devices.
Unlike the Snapdragon X55 5G modem currently in the iPhone The next generation modem chip uses a more powerful and energy efficient 5 nm process instead of 7 nm and supports carrier aggregation. Carrier aggregation enables carriers to combine individual channels, increase bandwidth and enable higher data rates. It also allows that iPhone Aggregate data from sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G signals at the same time. Not only will iPhone 13 users have faster data speeds and lower latency, which improves the overall 5G experience.
Qualcomm has already developed an even more advanced 5G modem chip, the Snapdragon X65. The component supports peak data rates of 10 Gbit / s, although such speeds are not yet possible in the real world. Instead, we can expect the Snapdragon X65 5G modem chip to be used by the iPhone no earlier than 2022, with improved support for Sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G. The latter offers high download speeds, but only covers short distances. This makes it perfect for a densely populated area like a city. It will also offer improved energy efficiency and more. Apple’s first proprietary modem chip could not be put into operation until 2023.
The elimination of Qualcomm also means Apple no longer has to grapple with the controversial chip designer’s method of selling chips. Who can forget Qualcomms no license, no chips mantra. Or the way Qualcomm calculates royalties based on the total price of a phone rather than based on the cost of its component. License fees are capped at $ 400, but that’s still more than the price of a Snapdragon chipset. The company is also known for not licensing its essential standard patents. These are patents that companies must license so that the products they manufacture meet technical standards. These patents are intended to be licensed under FRAND (Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory) conditions.