The imbroglio between Apple and Qualcomm has already been responsible for reducing the San Diego company's share in Ma's supply chain. In the meantime, Intel is expected to produce approximately 70% of the modems that will equip this year's iPhones and, it seems, the Cupertino giant is inclined to further distance themselves from this relationship.
According to DigiTimes (a source beyond polemics, but it gets it right from time to time), Apple is thinking of working with MediaTek, a Taiwanese chip maker, for producing the modems of future iPhones. For now, however, there are no records of any negotiations.
At the same time that Ma is inclined to add MediaTek to the list of suppliers, the website reported that Ma is also considering alternatives to the Taiwanese company to reduce Qualcomm's dependence.
Apple would not make a final decision until the two companies, if in fact, were in negotiations on supplying modems, could reach consensus on several aspects, including product viability, technology development and collaborative efforts.
Meanwhile, the Taiwanese woman seems to be preparing to present a proposal to produce the modems of the coming iPhones. Recently, MediaTek launched the new chip Helio M70, supported technology 5G, and claimed to have submitted it six months ahead of schedule in order to receive orders from Apple.
However, Apple is unlikely to adopt this new technology this year or next. In reality, US operators are only going to start their first services with 5G until mid-2019 and it is likely that it will take some time before coverage of the new mobile network is available to a large number of users.
The fact is that, as some analysts have pointed out, a new modem provider could also hinder the relationship with Intel (which could emerge as the big winner in this story, but does not seem to have seized the opportunity).
While we don't know whether MediaTek will be Apple's supplier for modems, the DigiTimes also informed that the company may enter the supply of Wi-Fi chips for the HomePod. According to 9to5Mac, this is a common Apple tactic for testing new vendors, including them in small-scale products first before placing an order to produce devices with greater circulation, such as iPhones.