Apple Again Said to Adopt Intel LTE Chips for iPhones in 2016
Some of Apple's iPhones produced in 2016 will use wireless modem chips supplied by Intel rather than Qualcomm, reports VentureBeat. iPhones (presumably the iPhone 7) sold in emerging markets in Asia and Latin America will reportedly use an Intel 7360 LTE modem.
Intel has been gunning hard during the past year for a place in the iPhone and now appears to have succeeded, at least partly. The 7360 chip will ship inside a special version of the iPhone that will be marketed to emerging markets in Asia and Latin America, the sources said.
The 7360 LTE modem chip [PDF] from Intel features up to 450Mbps downlink and it supports 29 LTE bands. It will begin shipping out to manufacturers during the second half of 2015. Apple engineers have reportedly been traveling to Munich, Germany to collaborate with Intel engineers on the chip.
Though VentureBeat suggests the Intel chips might only be used in some iPhones in emerging markets, analyst Ben Bajarin believes that Apple would make the switch universal, rather than using separate chips in different versions of the phone.
Today's report is the second time we've heard inklings of an Intel-Apple modem partnership. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted Apple's switch from Qualcomm to Intel for its baseband chips back in January. The shift from Qualcomm to Intel for even a portion of LTE chips will be a major loss for Qualcomm, as the company has supplied Apple with modem chips for many years now.