No Huawei 5G chips for Apple after settling Qualcomm dispute

By Wei Sheng
1 min read
The outside of an Apple store in Shanghai on Mar. 26, 2019 (Image credit: Technode/Shi Jiayi).

Apple and Qualcomm reached a settlement on Tuesday to drop all litigation over patent royalties that extended over two years, clearing the way for the American electronics maker to use Qualcomm’s 5G chips in its new iPhones.

Apple is reportedly planning to purchase 5G modem chips from Qualcomm for use in its 2020 iPhones. Nikkei Asian Review quoted a source as saying that Apple will purchase modem chips, including 5G, from the chipmaker for iPhones in 2020 after the deal is finalized.

The report also said that the deal came too late for Apple to use Qualcomm chips in its 2019 iPhone lineup, but the company has already started testing Qualcomm’s 5G chips for 2020 devices.

Before the Apple-Qualcomm dispute was settled, Apple was facing a 2020 release date for 5G iPhones, well behind competitors including Samsung, which will launch the Galaxy S10 5G in May, and Huawei, which will launch its first 5G smartphones, the Mate 20X and the foldable Mate X, this summer.

Apple’s rival Huawei had indicated on more than one occasion that it was willing to sell its 5G Balong 5000 chipsets to Apple. Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei said the company was “open to Apple in this regard” in an interview with CNBC that aired Monday.

However, Apple gave no indication of taking Huawei up on its offer. Huawei’s rotating Chairman Ken Hu said on Tuesday at an annual analyst summit in Shenzhen that the company hadn’t held discussions with Apple on 5G chips. Hu also added that he looked forward to Apple’s competition in the 5G phone market.

Huawei also plans to release another 5G smartphone before October, said Shawn Sheng, the vice president of Huawei’s Handsets Product Line and Consumer Business Group, on Tuesday’s Huawei analyst summit.