Rumors of Qualcomm-Apple iPhone deal persist

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple and chip maker Qualcomm are said to currently be in talks for a future deal, fueling rumors of a possible 2010 iPhone arrangement that have surfaced in recent weeks.



Citing "market sources," Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported Monday that Qualcomm is in talks with Apple "for interest in future cooperation." The report said that Qualcomm is concerned about its future as popular smartphones, including the iPhone, do not utilize its 3G handset chips. Fierce competition has allegedly "pressured" the chip maker into looking to make a deal with Apple.



Currently, Qualcomm supplies chips to Samsung and LG in Korea, and HTC in Taiwan. But the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Palm Pre do not rely on the company.



The iPhone currently utilizes an Infineon chipset for its GSM and 3G networking. Palm uses chips from Marvell, while RIM contracts with Freescale.



In November, two separate reports indicated that a Qualcomm-powered iPhone was in the works. One suggested the device would use a new hybrid chip created by the company to allow dual compatibility with both the AT&T and Verizon networks in the U.S.



However, another analyst said that although he has heard that a Qualcomm deal is in discussion, a dual-mode iPhone would be impossible to release in 2010, as it is not currently in field trials. Such a handset was predicted to arrive in 2011 at the earliest.



However, CMDA inventor Qualcomm has announced that it plans to release dual-carrier chips that would enable future phones to work on both CDMA/EVDO carriers like Verizon and Sprint, as well as rival 3GPP carriers that use UMTS/HSPA+ technology like AT&T and T-Mobile. The new chips also provide future support for LTE, the next-generation 3GPP standard that most carriers plan to begin testing for deployment globally in the next few years.



Analyst Ashok Kumar with Northeast Securities, recently told AppleInsider he believes that Verizon and Apple would like to release a CDMA handset at a contract-subsidized $99 price point, which would make the new dual-mode chip cost prohibitive. Qualcomm expects commercial launches of handsets based on its dual-mode chip to be introduced in the second half of 2010.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    Ummm... Apple are evidently testing 2010's iPhone in States and in the Great Britain right now. How come chips, which are gonna be ready for commercial usage by the end of 2010, are for iPhone?
  • Reply 2 of 39
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,658member
    a solution like what Qualcomm maybe proposing is going to be a power hog, with Apple doing everything that can do to increase battery performance I think the last thing they would want to do is put in a feature this uses lots of power and only benefits a few. not everyone need the ability to work on both types of networks.
  • Reply 3 of 39
    Apple should make these things themselfs. I mean, its not as if they have no money to do it
  • Reply 4 of 39
    Just for clarification for author of this news: Qualcomm is NOT inventor of CDMA. It is patent holder for CDMA. Original inventor is British Intelligence during WWII. How Qualcomm got into possesion of this patent is another story and it explains root of GSM creation if one wants to know some historic facts.
  • Reply 5 of 39
    patspats Posts: 112member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    a solution like what Qualcomm maybe proposing is going to be a power hog, with Apple doing everything that can do to increase battery performance I think the last thing they would want to do is put in a feature this uses lots of power and only benefits a few. not everyone need the ability to work on both types of networks.



    Why do you think these chips would be power hogs? If we look at the current Infineon chip you have multiband HSPA and Edge for voice and data on 65nm die. The new Qualcomm chips are 45nm. When you shrink the die you get more transistors and reduced power consumption.
  • Reply 6 of 39
    there is NO need for LTE in phones in 2010--it is a nascent technology that will take several years to cover enough people. Even on VZ which has the fastest timetable. It makes sense for 2011/12.



    Right now we have CDMA/GSM world phone chips in dozens of phones and it works fine. That is all Apple has to do to continue to sell just one version of the phone. In a few years they can add that Qualcomm LTE chip when 4G is actually available...
  • Reply 7 of 39
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    a solution like what Qualcomm maybe proposing is going to be a power hog, with Apple doing everything that can do to increase battery performance I think the last thing they would want to do is put in a feature this uses lots of power and only benefits a few. not everyone need the ability to work on both types of networks.



    These chips are going to have to be made regardless. It's not as if Verizon is going to switch it's entire network overnight to LTE and instantly upgrade all of their customer's phones. So there needs to be some sort of hybrid chips that will work in devices from the cheap throwaway "dumb" phones to smartphones. I'm sure there are things that can be done to improve power efficiency. It's not as if both networks/transmitters need to be active all of the time. Only power up the one that's needed. Sure, it will probably be a little less efficient that a single-network chip; but that doesn't automatically mean it will be a power hog.



    As for "only benefit a few"... I believe ATT represents roughly 1/2 of all iPhone sales, and Verizon has a larger customer base than ATT. Granted, many Verizon customers have already switched to ATT, but even if we assume only half the penetration rate into Verizon's user base as they've achieved with ATT, that's still represents an over 25% increase in iPhone sales.



    I wouldn't exactly call that "a few."
  • Reply 8 of 39
    Let's be reasonable about what actually happens.

    Qualcomm's MSM7x30 family will be ready by the end of 2010. 2010's iPhone is tested right now and will probably be out in summer '10.

    So, is MSM7x30 for 2011's iPhone? Telcos will roll out their LTE infrastructures in 2010-2012; and Apple will be producing CDMA phones, for LTE-capable 9200 series is not even being sampled?
  • Reply 9 of 39
    patspats Posts: 112member
    If Apple is in talks with Qualcomm then it would logically include a CDMA, EV-DO baseband. I agree it is too early for Apple to be putting LTE in the 2010 iphone why pay for silicon that you can't use. Apple currently sole sources all their basebands from Infineon and Infineon does not currently offer CDMA chipset. If Apple builds a CDMA phone with Qualcomm chips they then can play Qualcomm off Infineon for the transition to 4G LTE and get better pricing.
  • Reply 10 of 39
    timontimon Posts: 152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pats View Post


    If Apple is in talks with Qualcomm then it would logically include a CDMA, EV-DO baseband. I agree it is too early for Apple to be putting LTE in the 2010 iphone why pay for silicon that you can't use.



    The Qualcomm chip set with LTE has the same command set and pinout as the chip set without LTE so they could design the next iPhone to use the non-LTE chipset and switch to LTE at any time they want. In addition Verizon should have major metropolitan areas running LTE by summer 2010. That would make coming out with a LTE phone with Verizon a major win for both Apple and Verizon.



    Bottom line is WHO KNOWS?
  • Reply 11 of 39
    zepzep Posts: 130member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Timon View Post


    Bottom line is WHO KNOWS?





    the shadow knows!



    but honestly, the new iphone is in testing. whats to say its not just CDMA phone?
  • Reply 12 of 39
    Another possibility is that these "rumors" could be deliberate leaks to put pressure on Infineon to develop a CDMA chip for a multi-carrier iphone
  • Reply 13 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Timon View Post


    Bottom line is WHO KNOWS?



    Bottom line is WILL THE USA HAVE MULTIPLE iPHONE MOBILE CARRIERS?
  • Reply 14 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    a solution like what Qualcomm maybe proposing is going to be a power hog, with Apple doing everything that can do to increase battery performance I think the last thing they would want to do is put in a feature this uses lots of power and only benefits a few. not everyone need the ability to work on both types of networks.



    exactly. not for the phone.



    now a dual chip for another device, a larger device that could have a larger battery, that could perhaps have cell data as an option (and an unlocked one at that). that is what folks should be pondering.



    also, does anyone really believe that Apple would reject CDMA 3 years ago but now turn it around and want to play with them. instead of unlocking to all available GSM carriers and focusing on the next gen of tech





    i am not going to be shocked if there's no new iphone this year (aside from better battery tech and perhaps more storage) and this device in testing turns out to be the mythical tablet. which is rumored to be using the iphone OS as a base
  • Reply 15 of 39
    patspats Posts: 112member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by karajabola View Post


    Another possibility is that these "rumors" could be deliberate leaks to put pressure on Infineon to develop a CDMA chip for a multi-carrier iphone



    Apple would be still stuck paying royalties to Qualcomm since they pretty much own the IP for CDMA.
  • Reply 16 of 39
    zepzep Posts: 130member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    exactly. not for the phone.



    now a dual chip for another device, a larger device that could have a larger battery, that could perhaps have cell data as an option (and an unlocked one at that). that is what folks should be pondering.



    also, does anyone really believe that Apple would reject CDMA 3 years ago but now turn it around and want to play with them. instead of unlocking to all available GSM carriers and focusing on the next gen of tech





    i am not going to be shocked if there's no new iphone this year (aside from better battery tech and perhaps more storage) and this device in testing turns out to be the mythical tablet. which is rumored to be using the iphone OS as a base



    really apple rejected CDMA? news to me. specially since there is no proof apple rejected CDMA, or if vzw rejected them at first.
  • Reply 17 of 39
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    So how big are the world band radios in comparison to the current radios used in the 3GS?

    How much power do they use in comparison to the radios in the 3GS?

    How more would they cost and would Qualcomm still want their excessive 5.5% gross revenue take off the top which is why the world decided to not go with CDMA in the first place?





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LouisTheXIV View Post


    there is NO need for LTE in phones in 2010--it is a nascent technology that will take several years to cover enough people. Even on VZ which has the fastest timetable. It makes sense for 2011/12.



    Right now we have CDMA/GSM world phone chips in dozens of phones and it works fine. That is all Apple has to do to continue to sell just one version of the phone. In a few years they can add that Qualcomm LTE chip when 4G is actually available...



    Good post. NTT DoCoMo looks to be closest with the viable LTE network and they said they won?t have an LTE phones until 2011. They?ll only have some PC data cards in 2010. That?s it.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pats View Post


    If Apple is in talks with Qualcomm then it would logically include a CDMA, EV-DO baseband. I agree it is too early for Apple to be putting LTE in the 2010 iphone why pay for silicon that you can't use. Apple currently sole sources all their basebands from Infineon and Infineon does not currently offer CDMA chipset. If Apple builds a CDMA phone with Qualcomm chips they then can play Qualcomm off Infineon for the transition to 4G LTE and get better pricing.



    I?m not so sure about that. Qualcomm is a patent holder for anything dealing with 3GSM or LTE. Perhaps even the largest patent holder, but don?t quote me on that. Maybe they are looking to integrate the radios more or make their own and therefore need to get licenses from Qualcomm and others to do so.
  • Reply 18 of 39
    patspats Posts: 112member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    exactly. not for the phone.



    now a dual chip for another device, a larger device that could have a larger battery, that could perhaps have cell data as an option (and an unlocked one at that). that is what folks should be pondering.



    also, does anyone really believe that Apple would reject CDMA 3 years ago but now turn it around and want to play with them. instead of unlocking to all available GSM carriers and focusing on the next gen of tech





    i am not going to be shocked if there's no new iphone this year (aside from better battery tech and perhaps more storage) and this device in testing turns out to be the mythical tablet. which is rumored to be using the iphone OS as a base



    The pace of the mobile phone industry pretty much guarantees that Apple will introduce new phone models in 2010. Moore's Law predicts that the number of transistors doubles every two years so why not take advantage of these advances whether it is a new processor core or GPU or camera lens. Even if they look about the same they can get more for the same price of silicon with each generation. That said if they are bringing out a new SDK/Software in Mar and a new handset in June we would expect to see testing toward the end of 2009.



    As far as CDMA if Apple plans to offer a phone on Verizon in 2010/2011 it will need a CDMA chip for voice. A voice standard for LTE does not currently exist a proposed technical proposal is available Verizon One Voice Initative but obviously if they are still discussing the standard to expect a finalized standard in 2010 is optimistic.
  • Reply 19 of 39
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    How more would they cost and would Qualcomm still want their excessive 5.5% gross revenue take off the top which is why the world decided to not go with CDMA in the first place?



    If CDMA is on the way out, then theoretically the CMDA patents will be dropping in value and presumably Qualcomm will lower their licensing fees.



    (Now if I just deleted the "if" "theoretically" and "presumably" then I could be a paid industry analyst, too! )
  • Reply 20 of 39
    patspats Posts: 112member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    So how big are the world band radios in comparison to the current radios used in the 3GS?

    How much power do they use in comparison to the radios in the 3GS?

    How more would they cost and would Qualcomm still want their excessive 5.5% gross revenue take off the top which is why the world decided to not go with CDMA in the first place?







    Good post. NTT DoCoMo looks to be closest with the viable LTE network and they said they won’t have an LTE phones until 2011. They’ll only have some PC data cards in 2010. That’s it.







    I’m not so sure about that. Qualcomm is a patent holder for anything dealing with 3GSM or LTE. Perhaps even the largest patent holder, but don’t quote me on that. Maybe they are looking to integrate the radios more or make their own and therefore need to get licenses from Qualcomm and others to do so.



    I would think it a big leap for Apple to go their own on the baseband processor. At some point, but if we are expecting PA SEMI to design the baseband then I would expect Apple to buy some IP, somebody like InterDigital so they wouldn't have to pay huge royalties to the likes of Qualcomm, Nokia et. al.



    As far as royalties rumor said Apple was paying only 1.6% to Qualcomm under the current agreement not 5.5%. That probably because they are using Interdigital & Infineon IP in the Infineon baseband.
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