You should be excited about Apple AAPL -0.16%’s upcoming iPhones. There are new sizes, world-first technologies and big price cuts. But now one of Apple’s biggest partners has gone on the record to confirm they have one problem which cannot be fixed.
Picked up by CNet, Qualcomm financial chief George Davis used the company’s earnings call to reveal Apple has chosen to use objectively inferior hardware in core components of its new iPhones.
Apple’s iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will be the last to use Qualcomm modems APPLE
“Apple intends to solely use our competitor’s modems rather than our modems in its next iPhone release,” explained Davis.
This competitor is Intel and independent testing has repeatedly shown this month that Qualcomm modems deliver vastly better real-world 3G and 4G performance compared to Intel modems. For example, almost 500,000 user tests on T-Mobile and 570,000 user tests on AT&T showed typical download speeds to be 53-68% faster while worst-case download speeds were 97-192% faster.
These are not small numbers.
So why move? The reason is Apple and Qualcomm are currently involved in a long-running and increasingly acrimonious legal battle over patent infringements and royalty disputes. As such, rather than work it out, the two companies have parted ways and everyone – Apple, Qualcomm and each new iPhone buyer – loses. And it has been coming.
Apple’s budget iPhone X (iPhone 9) is expected to look like this