Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chips

By: Doug S (foo.delete@this.bar.bar), May 3, 2019 12:11 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
Maynard Handley (name99.delete@this.name99.org) on May 2, 2019 3:58 pm wrote:
> I think it's possible the numbers could work out IF you allow for the vastly different ambitions/goals of Apple
> vs Intel or QC. Especially if Apple continue to offload some of the parts of the RF front-end (as they do today)
> to companies like Avago and Skyworks, only planning to move onto that sort of hardware later (if ever)?


I keep saying and people keep doubting that Apple simply will ignore 2G/3G and make an LTE/5G only modem. The longer it takes them to get it out the door the more likely/feasible that strategy becomes. That's going to reduce their complexity of their design and software since it gets rid of so much legacy stuff, and everything is packet switched so they don't have to even deal with circuit switched legacy voice/SMS. That has to reduce the number of engineers they'd need.

Yes, I'm aware of the objections people have that 3G networks in Europe and some other parts of the world won't be shut down for many years, unlike the situation here in the US where major carriers will have them all gone within a couple years (before any possible date of introduction of an Apple designed modem) but they are keeping them around as a legacy to support IoT devices like cellular alarms and what not and not to my knowledge intending them for widespread usage by mobile phone customers. Unless there is a lot of area that simply isn't covered by LTE/5G at all but only by 3G, there wouldn't be any reason for Apple to support anything older than LTE.

The deal with Qualcomm specifies a six year licensing agreement, and a "multi-year chip supply agreement". The different wording suggests that the deal for chip supply is less than six years - it would seem Apple anticipates switching from Qualcomm's chips to someone else's (presumably their own) in less than six years. Since they keep old designs around for a couple years, a six year agreement would cover use in new iPhones over a four year period so it is less than that. If the first year they use Qualcomm chips is 2020, a six year agreement that covered four years of new phones would have them using Qualcomm chips in the Sept 2023 iPhones so it would seem they expect to use something else in 2023, and possibly earlier. I doubt we'd see Apple's modems as soon as 2021, that would have them only using Qualcomm's modems in new designs for a single year. So I'm going to guess 2022 is the year they are targeting for the introduction of their modems, so they didn't want to commit to chip supply for the full six years of the licensing deal.

Most likely they'd want to first use them in something where cellular connectivity is less critical than a phone, like the Watch. Building the modem into the 'X' version of the SoC for the iPad before they are ready to build it into the iPhone is another possibility - the larger form factor would mean it might even be possible also install Qualcomm's modem and provide a way to switch between them. That would allow for widescale testing by Apple employees while leaving the Qualcomm modem in place for end users so they are protected in case their modem has some teething pains. Theoretically the settings menu could even offer an option for end users to switch between them to allow willing users to help test.
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TopicPosted ByDate
Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/04/18 03:47 PM
  antitrust implications? (NT)anonymous22019/04/18 07:53 PM
    antitrust implications?Doug S2019/04/18 08:50 PM
      antitrust implications?Beastian2019/04/18 10:02 PM
  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/18 08:45 PM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsdmcq2019/04/18 10:05 PM
      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/18 10:28 PM
        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAdrian2019/04/18 11:48 PM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsdmcq2019/04/19 05:54 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAdrian2019/04/19 09:33 AM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsdmcq2019/04/19 10:54 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 11:03 AM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 07:38 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipssylt2019/04/19 09:28 AM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 10:03 AM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipssylt2019/04/19 11:08 PM
                  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/20 09:15 AM
                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/20 09:41 AM
                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipssylt2019/04/20 01:22 PM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/20 07:31 PM
                        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/20 09:41 PM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsGroo2019/04/21 06:50 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAdrian2019/04/19 09:45 AM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 10:27 AM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 11:09 AM
                  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 11:17 AM
                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 12:19 PM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsGroo2019/04/20 05:50 AM
                        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/20 09:49 AM
                          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/20 10:08 AM
                            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/20 11:18 PM
                              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/20 11:19 PM
        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/19 09:46 AM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 10:50 AM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 03:17 PM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/19 09:59 PM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsGroo2019/04/20 08:28 AM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/20 09:33 AM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/20 11:26 PM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/20 09:55 AM
      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAndreas2019/04/19 03:55 AM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAndrew Clough2019/04/19 05:19 AM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsGroo2019/04/19 06:44 AM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 10:49 AM
    Read this and realize what Apple doesGroo2019/04/19 03:27 PM
  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 10:32 AM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/04/19 11:15 AM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/19 01:48 PM
      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 02:53 PM
        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/19 10:05 PM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/20 09:49 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/20 11:07 PM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/05/15 06:51 AM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/05/15 10:16 AM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/15 11:21 AM
  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/04/25 10:37 AM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/25 11:43 AM
      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsdmcq2019/04/26 01:22 AM
        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/26 09:05 AM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/26 10:57 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAnon2019/04/27 03:11 PM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/27 07:15 PM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/28 05:59 AM
                  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/05/02 11:01 AM
                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/02 02:58 PM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/02 03:27 PM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsanonymou52019/05/02 04:37 PM
                        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/03 12:35 AM
                          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/03 08:32 AM
                            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/03 12:32 PM
                              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/03 02:45 PM
                                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsUmmmm...2019/05/03 03:35 PM
                                  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/03 03:56 PM
                                  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/03 08:10 PM
                                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/03 08:11 PM
                                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/03 09:12 PM
                                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/04 07:33 AM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/05/03 12:11 AM
                        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/05/06 08:09 AM
                          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/06 10:40 AM
                            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/05/06 12:16 PM
                              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/06 03:15 PM
                        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsSimon Farnsworth2019/05/07 04:23 AM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsdmcq2019/04/26 11:52 AM
  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/02 08:25 AM
    So Qualcomm got less than 2/3 of what they wantedDoug S2019/05/02 09:35 AM
      So Qualcomm got less than 2/3 of what they wantedBeastian2019/05/02 10:43 AM
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