January 11, 2019 / 7:37 PM / 12 days ago

Apple considered Samsung, MediaTek to supply 5G modems for 2019 iPhones

Jan 11 (Reuters) - Apple Inc considered tapping Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and MediaTek Inc along with existing vendor Intel Corp to supply modem chips for 2019 iPhones, according to an Apple executive’s testimony at the trial between Qualcomm Inc and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Friday.

Apple for years relied on San Diego-based Qualcomm as the sole supplier of such chips, which help iPhones connect to wireless networks. Starting in 2016, Apple split the business between Intel and Qualcomm, but in 2018, Apple moved solely to Intel for its newest phones.

But Apple supply chain executive Tony Blevins testified on Friday that Apple has also considered MediaTek and Samsung, one of its largest rivals in the smart phone market, to supply the chips. (Reporting by Stephen Nellis Editing by Frances Kerry)

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