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Dissected new iPhones reveal Intel, Micron, Toshiba parts

US-based Qualcomm, the world’s largest mobile phone chipmaker, has, in turn, accused Apple of patent infringement.

A screengrab of Apple's latest iPhone.

LONDON - Apple Inc’s latest iPhones use components made by Intel Corp, Micron Technology and Toshiba among others, according to a firm that cracked open iPhone XS and XS Max.

Among the first detailed teardowns of the phones since their launch on September, the study www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPhone+XS++and+XS+Max+Teardown/113021 by repair firm iFixit did not list any parts from Samsung and, as expected, no chips from Qualcomm Inc.

Supplying parts for Apple’s iPhones is considered a coup for chipmakers and other manufacturers and Apple does not disclose which companies make the components while insisting its suppliers keep quiet.

That makes teardowns the only way of establishing the breakdown of parts in the phones, although analysts also recommend caution in drawing conclusions because Apple sometimes uses more than one supplier for a part. What is found in one iPhone may not be found in others.

Qualcomm has been a supplier of components to Apple for years but the two have been locked in a wide-ranging legal dispute in which Apple has accused Qualcomm of unfair patent licensing practices.

US-based Qualcomm, the world’s largest mobile phone chipmaker, has, in turn, accused Apple of patent infringement.

Qualcomm confirmed in July that Apple intends to solely use “competitor’s modems” in its next iPhone release.

The teardown showed iPhone XS and XS Max used Intel’s modem and communication chips instead of Qualcomm’s hardware.

The latest iPhones also had DRAM and NAND memory chips from Micron and Toshiba, whereas previous teardowns of iPhone 7 had shown DRAM chips made by Samsung.

“For memory – Apple obviously competes with Samsung and wants to reduce their reliance as much as possible – so totally consistent that we’d see Toshiba for NAND flash storage and Micron for DRAM,” Morningstar analyst Abhinav Davuluri said.

IFixit technicians also found components from companies including Skyworks Solutions, Broadcom, Murata, NXP Semiconductors, Cypress Semiconductor, Texas Instruments and STMicroelectronics among others.

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