Will Apple do a Samsung on Qualcomm?

Samsung’s brilliant strategy had outflanked Qualcomm’s when it designed Qualcomm out of its smartphone without Qualcomm even knowing it until it was close to shipping time.

According to two sources familiar with the matter at hand, Apple Inc’s upcoming iPads and iPhones are not set to feature chips from Qualcomm Inc.

Sources preferred the cover of anonymity since they were not authorized to discuss the matter with the media.

The change in Apple’s strategy stems from a change in supply arrangements under which Qualcomm has stopped providing some software for Apple to test its chips for its consumer grade products lines, said a source.

Incidentally, the two companies are locked in a multinational legal dispute over the Qualcomm’s licensing terms to Apple.

As per Qualcomm, it is providing fully tested chips to Apple for its iPhones.

“We are committed to supporting Apple’s new devices consistent with our support of all others in the industry,” said Qualcomm in a statement.

For many years, Qualcomm has been supplying chips for Apple’s modems, but in recent years, Apple has gradually shifted Qualcomm’s chips with those from Intel Corp, said Rasgon. He went on to add, Intel has recently acquired a firm that would let it replace more of Qualcomm’s chips in Apple’s iPhones.

It is yet too early to say whether Apple fully intends to shift to Intel’s chips from Qualcomm from next year since Apple is likely to have multiple contingency plans for different supplier scenarios.

“Apple is big enough that they want to support multiple paths, they can do that,” said Rasgon. “Samsung (Electronics Co did this too. A couple of years ago, Samsung designed Qualcomm out, but Qualcomm didn’t even know until it was close to time to ship” Samsung’s phones, said Rasgon.

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