iPad, iPhone Chips May Come From Qualcomm - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Mobile
Commentary
1/17/2011
08:47 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
50%
50%

iPad, iPhone Chips May Come From Qualcomm

The iPad 2 and iPhone 5 might mark a significant supplier shift for Apple, which will switch from Infineon cellular radios to those made by Qualcomm.

The iPad 2 and iPhone 5 might mark a significant supplier shift for Apple, which will switch from Infineon cellular radios to those made by Qualcomm.Infineon has been the historic provider of Apple's cellular modem and baseband chips for the iPhone. These are the components that allow the iPhone (and 3G version of the iPad) to speak to cellular networks, such as AT&T's. In order for Apple to create an iPhone for Verizon Wireless, it had to purchase modem and baseband chips that work on Verizon's CDMA network. Those chips likely came from Qualcomm, which owns a huge number of CDMA-related patents.

By striking such a deal, it opened the door for wider adoption of Qualcomm's chips across the board for Apple.

Citing sources it relies on, Engadget reported over the weekend that Apple is indeed going to move to combination CDMA / GSM / UMTS chips from Qualcomm both for the iPad 2 and the iPhone 5 (product names unofficial). Right now, Apple is making two versions of the iPhone 4. One for Verizon, and then one AT&T (and other GSM-based operators). Apple could reduce its costs by making just one iPhone that works on both CDMA and GSM networks. Qualcomm makes such chips, and in fact, they are used in a number of Verizon Wireless smartphones, including the BlackBerry Storm/Storm2.

Engadget believes it is possible that Apple will go with Qualcomm's Gobi chipset. I actually wondered why Apple didn't go with Gobi for the iPhone 4. Rather than combine two separate radios on one chip, Gobi uses a software-defined radio that can easily switch from CDMA to GSM and back without changing any hardware. It's all done via software.

The Gobi chips were first introduced for laptops years ago. They let enterprise buyers purchase laptops that weren't locked down to a single broadband network. This offered businesses the flexibility they needed to make changes if/when necessary in order to ensure connectivity for mobile employees. Now, Apple may do the same for its iPad and iPhone product lines.

This woud reduce the number of SKUs Apple needs to develop for its mobile portfolio and would make the whole darn business easier to manage.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll