Intel Could Be the Exclusive Supplier of iPhone Modems in 2018: KGI

Delia Watkins
February 6, 2018

Rumor has it that Apple will no longer be using Qualcomm's modems but rather go for Intel's.

Nomura Instinet, renowned brokerage, claimed in a note that Apple has choice of a handful of chip suppliers for their iPhones that may be more cost efficient.

Qualcomm, however, was first to strike against Apple.

In the past, benchmarks of iPhone models have shown that units with the Qualcomm baseband chipset performed slightly better than the model with the Intel internals. In fact, the iPhone X sports Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 modem.

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According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo, a second-generation iPhone SE on Apple's 2018 pipeline is hard to believe if the reports are true that the company plans to unveil three new flagship phones in the last quarter of the year.

Reports say Apple is totally ditching Qualcomm this year to make Intel its exclusive modem provider. Intel's previous chips lacked support for CDMA. For users, it would mean greater flexibility in moving between networks: now there's no guarantee that the iPhone you buy from one carrier will necessarily have the band support for a different one. As for the iPhone X successor, fondly referred to by many as the iPhone X2, the public expects that the Cupertino-based tech firm will further step up its game.

Soon after this report, Qualcomm filed three fresh complaints against Apple in a United States court, alleging violations on 16 different patents by the iPhone maker that includes the "super-premium" iPhone X. At the same time, a more affordable 6.1-inch iPhone X is also tipped, using a cheaper LCD panel, less expensive materials for the chassis, and dropping the twin rear cameras for a single version so as to capture entry-level buyers. Unless, that is, Qualcomm capitulates on the royalty issue. Apple may still approach Qualcomm for some orders as it negotiates concession in trying to lay legal disputes to rest.

But that's unlikely to be why Apple has supposedly come to this decision; rather its ongoing lawsuits with Qualcomm are probably a big factor.

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