Qualcomm has launched the Snapdragon X60 5G Modem, a third-generation system for 5G connectivity in smartphones, but one that Apple is more likely to be using for its 2021 iPhone releases rather than 2020's "iPhone 12" models.
The swift change in fortunes for Intel's modem business in the months following Qualcomm's settlement with Apple may have taken some by surprise, but the processor producer has gone through quite the journey in the process. AppleInsider details how Intel's modem arm prospered then became an acquisition target.
Following April's announcement it was planning to leave the 5G smartphone modem business, Intel is said to be preparing to hold an auction for its cellular wireless intellectual property, which reportedly includes a portfolio of 8,500 assets that will be put up for sale.
Qualcomm may have to pay a second big fine to the European Union over antitrust concerns for how it handled sales of 3G chips for mobile hotspot and dongles, just over a year after the chip maker was issued a $1.23 billion financial penalty for illegally shutting out modem rivals from supplying Apple.
Without Apple buying its 5G modems in annual volumes greater than 200M units, Intel had little chance of staying afloat in competition with Qualcomm. However, the Open Handset Alliance of Android phone makers is the bigger casualty of the deal, because they're losing the strongest marketing point they've had to rival iPhones in ten years: exclusive access to Qualcomm's leading 5G modem chips.
After a year of maneuvering. Apple and Qualcomm are set to face off in Judge Gonzalo Curiel's courtroom starting on Tuesday afternoon. AppleInsider breaks down the developments of the last year, leading up to the trial.
A report on Wednesday highlights Apple's struggles to obtain 5G modem chips for its flagship iPhone by 2020, saying increasingly tense relations with current supplier Intel might delay those plans. That might not matter, as the company is on track to build its own modems that could debut in 2021.
The South Korean Supreme Court has affirmed a ruling that found Qualcomm guilty of illegal kickbacks to cellphone manufacturers to keep modem adoption high, and must pay at least 200 billion won ($243 million) in damages.