Apple may tap MediaTek as iPhone modem supplier as Qualcomm legal battle intensifies

Apple is reportedly seeking additional modem chip capacity support, with a new report Tuesday alleging that Taiwanese integrated circuitry design firm MediaTek has a chance of winning orders for iPhone baseband modems from the Cupertino tech giant.

DigiTimes cites industry sources as saying that the Cupertino firm is “actively seeking” new chip suppliers to absorb more of the remaining orders for baseband modem chipsets. This comes after Apple with last year’s iPhone 7 models transferred about half of its orders to Intel from Qualcomm, with which it is currently involved in a bitter patent lawsuit.

Apple may add MediaTek as an iPhone modem supplier next year due to MediaTek’s technological competitiveness, comprehensive product blueprints and reliable logistic support.

From the report:

The sources said the Apple’s switching 50% of its orders for iPhone modem chipsets to Intel from Qualcomm is part of its self-protection efforts made after filing a lawsuit in January 2017 against Qualcomm’s allegedly unfair patent royalty calculation formula involving modem chipsets used in iPhone devices.

The report adds that MediaTek is in a good position to seek cooperation with Apple in future products, such as smart speakers, wireless charging devices and wireless connection systems.

Apple is suing Qualcomm over its allegedly unfair patent royalty practices requiring companies to use their baseband modem chips in exchange for much lower licensing fees.

iPhone image courtesy of iFixit