Sounds like a business economic story to me.
Apple sued Qualcomm at that time, because Apple could not make much profit from its devices, so it had to cut costs. First, Intel was thrown into the CPU area.
Given Intel’s failure to make a 4G modem, the last option was to sue Qualcomm with patent gossip and hopefully a settlement could be reached that would allow Apple to pay Qualcomm lower fees. It failed miserably and Apple was embarrassed. At Qualcomm, thousands of bright minds have been working on 4G and beyond for years. So no silly rubber band effect design or rectangle with rounded corners that Apple is used to in terms of innovation, but just 1,000 expensive physics engineers and testing in the mountains, how people hold the phone and so on. Both at Intel and later at Apple, copying this from Qualcomm turned out to be more difficult than Apple had hoped. Especially in terms of power consumption, Intel, which is a chipset company, did not manage to do this.
So Apple is starting to work on shrinking the WiFi chipset, because the stock price is going down. Apple’s threat to do it alone may have lowered prices at Broadcom. Because Broadcom easily depends on Apple for more than 20% of its sales.
But now, for the first time in a very long time, it looks like the smartphone market is about to shrink. iPhones also last a long time. Energy costs are rising, and customers have less money to buy an expensive phone.
3nm is the first process in which transistor cost is no longer decreasing. TSMC is also raising prices, probably not for Apple but for all the “losing” customers (presumably Qualcomm and NVidia). Apple is trapped like rats at TSMC, because the Samsung foundry killed them themselves in terms of leadership in the technical field. That’s because Steve Jobs wanted everything away from Samsung because, in his opinion, Samsung copied the iPhone. There’s something to be said for that, but killing Samsung Foundry indirectly was strategically the stupidest choice of all. Apple is now 100% dependent on TSMC.
So, obviously we have to cut costs in a different way; Because TSMC and Qualcomm are not an option in terms of cuts. Broadcom may have made Apple a good offer, one they couldn’t refuse. For the stage, it should look a bit like Apple is still working on it, its WiFi chip. But most likely, just as it happened recently at Intel, Microsoft and Facebook, some people will really be allowed to look for other work.
As with Broadcom, chips may have been offered to Apple so cheaply that Broadcom now also has to cut costs significantly.
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