Intel to Supply Up to 50% of Faster LTE Chips for iPhone 7

Tuesday May 17, 2016 5:07 AM PDT by Joe Rossignol

Intel-iPhone-6sIntel will supply up to 50 percent of faster LTE chips, manufactured by TSMC and KYEC, for the iPhone 7 series expected to launch in September, according to DigiTimes.

Intel will itself package the modem chips for the upcoming new iPhones, but have contracted Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and tester King Yuan Electronics (KYEC) to manufacture the chips, the sources said.

Apple's current LTE chip supplier Qualcomm previously hinted that it would be losing LTE modem orders from one of its major customers to one of its leading competitors, which increasingly points towards Apple and Intel respectively. Multiple rumors have hinted at the switch from Qualcomm to Intel since early 2015.

CLSA Securities analyst Srini Pajjuri issued a research note in March that said Intel has secured a "significant portion" of the LTE chip orders, likely in the range of 30 to 40 percent of production. Qualcomm is expected to be tasked with the remaining orders, but it will no longer be the primary supplier.

Intel reportedly has 1,000 or more employees working on preparing its 7360 LTE modem for the next-generation iPhone. Intel's 7360 LTE modem chip [PDF] features faster theoretical downlink speeds up to 450 Mbps, uplink speeds up to 100 Mbps, and support for LTE category 10 and 29 LTE bands overall.

For customers, the switch to Intel modems means the iPhone 7 could have faster LTE speeds for browsing the web, downloading apps, streaming video, and other data-related tasks. Apple already improved LTE speeds on the iPhone 6s series by adopting LTE-Advanced for downlink speeds up to a theoretical max of 300 Mbps.

Qualcomm has been Apple's exclusive supplier of LTE modems for over three years, including the MDM9635 chipset in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which provides theoretical downlink speeds up to 300 Mbps and uplink speeds up to 50 Mbps. Real-world download speeds will vary.

Top Rated Comments

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51 months ago
Well we can have all the fastest LTE chip in our phone but all our carrier in the US sucks. What's the point?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
51 months ago

Well we can have all the fastest LTE chip in our phone but all our carrier in the US sucks. What's the point?

Aww man, you beat me to it. The cellular reception with ATT in the greater nyc area is terrible. I dont think a faster chip is going to do anything.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
51 months ago


For customers, the switch to Intel modems means the iPhone 7 could have faster LTE speeds for browsing the web, downloading apps, streaming video, and other data-related tasks. Apple already improved LTE speeds on the iPhone 6s series by adopting LTE-Advanced for downlink speeds up to a theoretical max of 300 Mbps.

As others have said... none of this means anything unless the carrier can deliver those speeds.

Hell... the average home broadband speed in the US is around 12mbps. Do we really think wireless carriers are gonna crank up the speed?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
51 months ago

People tend to keep devices for longer than a few months, more like years. In the years they have the device the supporting networks could have upgrades completed that will make use of the technology. This is forward thinking.

Lol, cute try... but average LTE speeds are like 10-20mb & "really good" LTE speeds are 100-140mb.
Upping the max from 300mb to 450mb does nada... the big zip, zero, zilch.
That's like saying a pile vaulter could jump higher if we just took the gym ceiling that is three times higher than he jumps & made it FOUR times higher than he jumps!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
51 months ago

Well we can have all the fastest LTE chip in our phone but all our carrier in the US sucks. What's the point?

I gotta say I agree. Also with that stupid 100MB data cap, what’s the point of having blazing speeds. Where is the entry level 32GB or FM Radio instead Tim???
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
51 months ago

Well we can have all the fastest LTE chip in our phone but all our carrier in the US sucks. What's the point?

People tend to keep devices for longer than a few months, more like years. In the years they have the device the supporting networks could have upgrades completed that will make use of the technology. This is forward thinking.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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