However, as Apple and Qualcomm are in the midst of a bitter legal battle right now, the Cupertino giant is looking at two other modem suppliers to source for its 5G-enabled iPhones that will reportedly launch in 2020.
So while yes, the latest iPhones carry a premium price because Apple keeps tricking them out with more premium features and ever crazier cameras, there are other reasons smartphones have hit hard-to-swallow new pricing plateaus. In any case, both Qualcomm's requirement that a customer license its patents before buying the actual product, and Apple's billion-dollar incentive request sound a bit excessive, so we'll see what the court will decide in the end. Those networks are expected to start rolling out this year and provide faster data speeds than current 4G networks.
In testimony in a federal courthouse in San Jose, California, Mollenkopf said that Apple demanded a $1 billion Dollars "incentive payment" for a chance to supply the iPhone modems.
The company stopped trying to place an Intel modem chip in the iPad Mini 2 because losing the rebates on Qualcomm's chips would have made the overall cost too high, he said. But Apple's lawsuit against Qualcomm filed in early 2017 caused their business relationship to change "in a very profound and negative manner", leading to using only Intel's modems for the phones released previous year. This led to Apple only using Intel modems in its new iPhones previous year.
"The entire concept of Project Antique was to find a second supplier".
Blevins said that talking with Samsung, whose Galaxy and Note devices compete against the iPhone, is "not an ideal environment" for Apple, but that Samsung is now the largest component supplier to Apple. He further said that it is standard practice for the iPhone maker to look at up to six suppliers for every component.