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Why Apple Hired a Chip Engineer from Qualcomm

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Terzioglu joining Apple from Qualcomm

Apple (AAPL) recently hired a chip expert from Qualcomm (QCOM), the company it sued in a dispute over patent royalty rates. The chip engineer joining Apple from Qualcomm is Esin Terzioglu, who posted about his move on his LinkedIn page, according to Fortune.

Terzioglu, whose LinkedIn page shows that he has a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University, led the team developing core communications chips at Qualcomm. He played a role in Qualcomm’s transition to 10nm (nanometer) process nodes from 14nm nodes. Terzioglu has also worked for chipmaker Broadcom (AVGO).

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Terzioglu to contribute expertise in baseband modem

As a core communications chip engineer, Terzioglu is seen bringing expertise to Apple in the realm of baseband modems. In a recent note to investors cited by Fortune, analyst Tavis McCourt of Raymond James suggested that Terzioglu could help Apple to integrate baseband modem technology into its A-series processors.

Apple’s A-series chips, which power its iPhones and iPads, currently lack baseband modem technology, according to McCourt.

Taking control of the parts supply chain

Apple’s hiring of a chip expert from Qualcomm can also be interpreted as another step in its efforts to take more control of its components supply chain. Taking more control of the product supply chain could help Apple to control its costs more closely and reduce leaks about its product plans.

Supply chain rumors have claimed that Apple’s next iPhone will be waterproof and will feature wireless charging capabilities as the company works to close the gaps with its rivals Samsung (SSNLF) and Alphabet (GOOGL) in terms of certain device features.

However, Apple said last month that these supply chain rumors had hurt its sales. The company reported disappointing iPhone sales in fiscal 2Q17, as we can see in the chart above.

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