With Apple’s battle with Qualcomm growing, it seems the chances of a MediaTek chip in the 2018 iPhone is a real possibility. MediaTek has been making chips for many Android phones on the market. Generally speaking, however, their chips haven’t been as highly regarded by Android users as Qualcomm’s chips. It will be interesting to see how Apple approaches this, most likely the chip will be designed by Apple and built by MediaTek. Apple’s standards are pretty tight so MediaTek will have to up its quality control game.
Some industry watchers said that MediaTek meets the three principles long followed by Apple in determining providers of chip solutions for its various product lines: leading technological competitiveness, comprehensive product blueprints, and reliable logistic support.
But they noted that winning the modem chip orders would bring only short-term benefits for MediaTek, reasoning that it is difficult for the company to become a regular player in the supply chains for Apple’s well-established product lines.
The speculation is Apple will tap Intel and MediaTek for chipsets in 2018. In the past, Apple iPhone’s have mostly used Qualcomm chipsets with some Intel chipsets sprinkled in for good measure. With this ongoing legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm, Apple has shifted 50% of the load to Intel. It’s going to be an interesting 2018 for the iPhone as it will be a gamble going with a new chipmaker.
My bet is they’re already testing chips to see how well they perform with Apple hardware and software, which is probably why MediaTek declined to comment. That research and testing are likely going to determine if they go with their chips. I suspect we won’t hear anything official until at least WWDC 2018. The other thing to consider is Apple is also rumored to be working on making their own chips which means any relationship with chipmakers now is likely going to be short term, should that rumor prove true.
Last Updated on December 27, 2017.