2018 iPhone Fashions to Completely Use Intel Modems, Ditching Qualcomm

06 February, 2018, 15:28 | Author: Lynette Payne
  • 2018 iPhones to rely solely on Intel baseband chips, KGI claims

According to respected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will soon rely on Intel exclusively for iPhone baseband components, which could land a sharp blow to Qualcomm's business. "As such, we believe Apple is unlikely to have enough spare resources to develop a new iPhone model for launch in 2Q18", Kuo wrote on a research note obtained by MacRumors. The analyst previously said Intel to supply 70% of modems and remaining 30% would come from Qualcomm.

Intel began supplying modem chips to Apple from the iPhone 7 onwards.

A report in 9to5mac said that Intel's chip will support dual SIM and dual standby. Presently Apple and Qualcomm are embroiled in a legal tussle and Qualcomm has charged Apple of sharing proprietary code with Intel.

Apple has been sourcing baseband modems from both Intel and Qualcomm since 2016. No one can blame Apple for wanting to cut ties with Qualcomm.

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However, the report also stated Qualcomm might still have a chance of featuring in 2018 iPhone devices.

Earlier, Kuo had reported that Apple was going to improve LTE transmission speeds on iPhones by supporting 4×4 MIMO chipsets. Baseband chips on an iPhone is where all radio functions which require an antenna are managed.

Intel's XMM 7560 modems support both CDMA and GSM, which means Apple could launch a single iPhone model that would work across all the major USA carriers such as AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile. Benchmark scores have revealed in the past that iPhones running Qualcomm modems performed better than those running Intel chips.

That may be so, but the fact is demand for iPhone X cooled quickly before Christmas, as several market observers have pointed out. However, Kuo told investors that Qualcomm might return as a supplier to Apple, most likely as concessions in their lawsuit settlement. Qualcomm is expected to aggressively pursue orders from Chinese smartphone makers to offset the lost orders. Although Intel's new modems will be equipped with this functionality, whether or not Apple incorporates it still remains to be seen. Qualcomm even went so far as to file suit against Apple's device manufacturers (Foxconn, Pegatron, Wistron, and Compal Electronics). Talking about Intel, Samsung recently overtook the United States chipmaker in its own game of chip making for the first time in 25 years, making former the world's biggest processor-making firm.

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