MediaTek may get Apple orders for baseband modem chipsets

MediaTek has a shot at winning orders for baseband modem chipsets from Apple, which is seeking additional modem chip capacity support after transferring half of its orders to Intel from Qualcomm, reports DigiTimes, quoting unnamed “industry sources.”

The sources said the Apple's switching 50% of its orders for iPhone modem chipsets to Intel from Qualcomm is part of its self-protection efforts made after filing a lawsuit in January 2017 against Qualcomm's allegedly unfair patent royalty calculation formula involving modem chipsets used in iPhones.

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MediaTek is a Taiwanese fabless semiconductor company that provides system-on-chip solutions for wireless communications, HDTV, DVD and Blu-ray devices.  Headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan, the company has 25 offices worldwide and was the third largest fabless IC designer worldwide in 2016

In January, Apple filed a lawsuit again Qualcomm, the world’s dominant supplier of baseband processors, alleging the chip supplier demanded unfair terms for its technology. The same month, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint in federal district court charging Qualcomm with using anticompetitive tactics to maintain its monopoly in the supply of a key semiconductor device used in cell phones and other consumer products.

However, Qualcomm denies the allegations and says Apple wouldn't have an iPhone business if it weren't for fair licensing of the company’s essential tech. The company claims it went out of its way to offer alternative licensing (which Apple rejected), and that, in suing Qualcomm, Apple is motivated by reducing the cost to make iPhones.