It looks like Apple is set to tap Intel for its LTE modem chips for the upcoming iPhone 7. According to reports surfacing this week, Intel will be supplying Apple with roughly 30 to 40 percent of the LTE modems it needs, which poses as a slight problem for Qualcomm, who will now receive less of Apple’s business as a result of this, which could cause its profits to shrink this year.
Intel has been looking to break into this area for a while so gaining Apple’s business will be a big win for the chipmaker. Right now, it is unclear if Qualcomm’s own X12 mobile modem doesn’t meet Apple’s requirements but we do know that it has slightly higher rated performance numbers on paper compared to Intel’s XMM 7360 modem.
Qualcomm’s X12 is apparently rated for 600Mbps throughput while Intel’s is rated for 450 Mbps, which is quite the difference. That said, Apple may not want the modem inside of the iPhone 7 to run at full speed anyway so the differences in maximum throughput may not matter.
This news comes shortly after news that Apple may tap TSMC to supply all of its new Apple A-series chips for the iPhone 7. We are also hearing that Samsung and LG may be put in charge of supplying OLED screens for next year’s iPhone 7S.
KitGuru Says: There have been rumours of Intel and Apple going into business for its smartphone modems in the past so this could well turn out to be true. It will likely mean that Qualcomm takes a hit to its bottom line this year though.