(L-R) iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X and iPhone 8 models are displayed during an Apple launch event in Cupertino, California, U.S. September 12, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam – HP1ED9C1L5FF0
The iPhone always features in best phone lists and the business is very profitable for Apple, but the company isn’t sitting still and wants to increase those profits. Or at least, wants to reduce its costs while removing risk by making more of the hardware itself. We’ve already seen this in action with Apple opting to replace PowerVR with its own GPU. Now it seems, power management chips are next on the list to bring in-house.
As Reuters reports, Apple is expected to start replacing the power management chips used in iPhones as early as next year. This is bad news for Dialog Semiconductor, which currently provides power management chips for smartphone manufacturers including Apple. The switch over is also expected to be quick, with Apple providing the required chips itself for around half of next year’s iPhones.
Dialog Semiconductor counts power management as only one of seven core markets it operates in. Given that, coupled with the fact it works with a range of other tech companies, it means losing Apple as a customer won’t be cause for panic. However, even the unconfirmed news of Apple making this move saw Dialog’s shares fall 7.2 percent.
With the current suing and counter-suing going on between Qualcomm and Apple, it seems likely Qualcomm chips will be the next to completely disappear from Apple’s devices. However, in that case Apple would (at least in the short term) seek other partners to provide replacement chips, such as Intel.
We should expect this trend to continue with Apple replacing as many part as it can with in-house alternatives when appropriate. What hardware ends up inside the iPhone 8 and iPhone X replacements next year could be very telling. It’s not out of the question that years from now we get an iPhone free of any ports and any hardware inside that isn’t made by Apple.