Apple Inc. considered using Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and MediaTek Inc. to supply 5G modem chips for its 2019 iPhones, according to a Jan. 11 report by Reuters.
An Apple executive reportedly disclosed the talks between the companies while testifying at a trial between Qualcomm Inc. and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The regulatory agency is suing Qualcomm, alleging that it took part in anticompetitive patent licensing practices to maintain the company's position selling modem chips in the marketplace.
Apple reportedly used Qualcomm modem chips as its sole supplier between 2011 and 2016, but the company moved solely over to Intel Corp. in 2018 after splitting business between Intel and Qualcomm from 2016 to 2018.
Though Samsung is one of Apple's largest competitors in the phone market, Tony Blevins, a supply chain executive at Apple, testified on Jan. 11 that Samsung is currently the largest component supplier to Apple, Reuters reports.
Blevins also reportedly did not disclose if Apple has decided on which 5G modem supplier it would use if it does release a 5G phone in 2019.