Qualcomm and Apple are currently embroiled in a legal spat involving excessive royalties, casting serious doubt on the possibility of a Qualcomm-made LTE modem in a future iPhone. Today, Qualcomm teased a brand new Snapdragon X20 LTE chip, its second-gen Gigabit LTE modem.
It’s capable of fiber-like LTE Category 18 downloads of up to 1.2 gigabits per second, or one-fifth faster than the previous X16 chip. Upload speeds go up to a theoretical maximum of 150 megabits per second. It’s expected to ship in the first half of 2018.
Only time will tell if Apple plans on dual-sourcing cellular modems from both Qualcomm and Intel, in which case 2018 iPhones could theoretically support faster-than-Gigabit-LTE downlink speeds of up to 150 megabytes per second.
Apple today published four new ads on its YouTube channel that continue to position its iPad Pro tablet as being better than a computer. The four new commercials, running sixteen seconds each, use the tagline “Real Problems… Answered” and appear to be based on typical PC user tweets.
The videos promote the tablet as a device that’s free of wires, immune to viruses, faster than most laptops and able to run Microsoft Office apps and connect to fast LTE cellular networks.
Give the new ads a quick watch, then meet us in comments.
Verizon is no longer the only major US carrier without an unlimited data plan. As announced yesterday, the carrier’s newly launched Unlimited plan gives you unlimited 4G data, texts and minutes on a single smartphone or tablet in exchange for $80 per month, or $45 per month for four lines ($180 total).
Those prices entail paper-free billing and AutoPay and exclude taxes. It’s unclear if Verizon’s access fees of $20 per month per smartphone and $10 per month per tablet apply to the new plan.
Like with other carriers, you don’t really get truly unlimited data: consume more than 22 gigabytes of 4G LTE data per line in any given month and the system begins prioritizing usage behind other customers in the event of network congestion. For a limited time only, the big red carrier is offering a free iPhone 7/Plus, Google Pixel or another flagship smartphone to those who’d switch to the new plan.
Apple on Friday announced it’s suing iPhone modem supplier Qualcomm, which owns many wireless patents, “after years of disagreement over what constitutes a fair and reasonable royalty”. The suit argues Qualcomm withheld nearly $1 billion in payments it owes to Apple as retaliation because Apple cooperated with the Korea Fair Trade Commission. Last month, Korean regulators slapped Qualcomm with a $850 million fine over its patent-licensing practices.
Apple’s suit, filed in federal district court in the Southern District of California, accuses Qualcomm of charging royalties for technologies “they have nothing to do with.” Responding to the complaint, Qualcomm called Apple’s claims groundless and said they “misrepresented facts”.
Yesterday, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged Qualcomm with monopolizing baseband modems used in smartphones, basically saying the company bribed Apple into not making a WiMAX iPhone in exchange for better royalties. The chip maker in a subsequent press release denied any wrongdoing, saying the FTC doesn’t really understand how the mobile industry works.