The ongoing spat between Apple and Qualcomm could prompt future incarnations of the iPhone and iPad to be made with chips from rival companies.
The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, reported that after Qualcomm withheld the software needed to test its chips in Apple’s devices, Apple began considering using chips from Intel and MediaTek instead.
The shift entirely away from Qualcomm chips would reportedly take place next year, although Apple’s stance could still change.
Apple has produced its flagship devices with Qualcomm chips for years, but the California companies are currently locked in an escalating courtroom battle. Cupertino-based Apple alleged that Qualcomm’s licensing practices violated antitrust laws, while the San Diego chipmaker fired back with claims that Apple infringed on its patents.
Apple began using some Intel chips in the iPhone 7, but the company still accounts for an estimated 13 percent of all Qualcomm chip sales this year. The WSJ noted that Qualcomm’s patents, however, remain more profitable than selling chips.
Qualcomm told the paper that a chip for the next-generation iPhone is “fully tested and released to Apple” and that it would continue to support devices made by Apple and other tech companies.
Analysts, meanwhile, warned that shifting from high-performing Qualcomm chips to more unproven rivals could be a risk for Apple.