Chief technology officer of Qualcomm has announced that since Qualcomm do not have to launch independent modems for Apple, it would no more use either their money or time for the updates each year. James Thompson has given the total expenditure for Qualcomm in updating their modems for Apple. It is approximately $250 million per year. Apple had wanted new models to be out each year. But, their other customers such as, those in data card business do not require new versions every year.
With newer designs in modems, the connectivity gets better than the former ones. In 2019, the 5G modems for phones would provide customers with a speed that is 10 to 100 times faster than the regular cellular connectivity. Apple typically designs their processor for application which is the main attractive thing in iPhone. However, the company is dependent on third party chips in order to receive connectivity of network. From the release of iPhone 4S back in 2011 till iPhone 6S Plus in the year 2015, Qualcomm was responsible to supply the chips. In the latest iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 7, Apple has used Intel 4G chips, but they continued using Qualcomm for Sprint and Verizon.
Qualcomm has to work a lot more for Apple. It first embeds the modem into processors of Snapdragon. An entirely different chipset is then covered around it. In fact, the software and other materials used are also different to make the entire set function in iPhones. Hence, if Qualcomm would not be making new designs for its modem for Apple each year, standalone modems would be launched in an interval of 3-4 years now.
Qualcomm has been fighting a lawsuit against Federal Trade Commission. FTC has blamed Qualcomm for pressuring customers such as Apple to exclusively work with them and they are even asking for extreme licensing fees for using their technology. Qualcomm, at their end has said the charges of FTC to be flawed.