In the wake of Apple's lengthy legal battle with iPhone LTE chip supplier Qualcomm, Apple is believed to be leaning more on Intel as a manufacturer for the iPhone's baseband chip component. The news comes in a report by DigiTimes, which states that Apple's increase of Intel-created wireless chips for iPhones could lead well into 2018, suggesting the so-called iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, and iPhone 8 have a higher chance of receiving Intel's chip than Qualcomm's.

Apple sourced both of the manufacturers for wireless chips in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in 2016, with a ratio of around 70 percent sourcing going to Qualcomm and 30 percent going to Intel. Now, Apple is believed to have given each supplier an equal 50 percent proportion of the wireless chip manufacturing for the rest of 2017, and that number could eventually increase to weigh in Intel's favor -- all because of Apple's legal fight with Qualcomm.

intel iphone LTE chips
Analysts watching the supply chain predict that Apple will eventually give Intel 70 percent of the production capacity in iPhones by 2018, because neither Apple nor Qualcomm are willing "to give in to make peace."

Apple's outsourcing proportion to Intel for the next-generation iPhone baseband chips has risen to about 50% for orders running through the end of 2017 due to the lawsuit between Qualcomm and Apple, which has grown fiercer recently.

Since both Qualcomm and Apple are unwilling to give in to make peace, some market watchers believe Apple is likely to shift even more baseband chip orders away from Qualcomm with Intel to supply over 70% of the baseband products for iPhones by 2018.

Apple and Qualcomm's feud began with a complaint filed by the FTC in January that centered around Qualcomm's anticompetitive patent licensing practices, which the FTC claimed it used to remain the dominant supplier of baseband chips for smartphones. Not long after, Apple filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm over the news of its practices, claiming Qualcomm charged unfair royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with."

After a few quiet months, in April Qualcomm countersued Apple, so Apple decided to stop making royalty payments to its suppliers in relation to Qualcomm's baseband chip technology, igniting a new series of arguments between the companies. Because Qualcomm holds licensing deals with Apple's iPhone manufacturers, and not Apple itself, the move was suggested to hurt Qualcomm to the tune of $500 million, causing the company to adjust its third quarter guidance from $5.3 billion - $6.1 billion in revenue down to $4.8 billion - $5.6 billion.

Qualcomm eventually tried to get an import ban passed that would prevent iPhones from entering the United States, and then decided to file a lawsuit against Foxconn, Pegatron, Wistron, and Compal for "breaching their license agreements" by failing to pay royalties on the use of Qualcomm's technology in the assembly of Apple's devices. Last week, Qualcomm requested an injunction to force Apple's iPhone manufacturers to keep paying royalties during the legal battle.

Due to the ongoing nature of the feud between the two companies, it's expected that the case will continue well into 2017, leading to today's report that Qualcomm might see a greatly reduced presence in the manufacturing of the next-generation iPhones. Even with the bad blood between Apple and Qualcomm, insiders still call Apple's reliance on Intel "a friendship of convenience" more than any kind of long-term partnership, because Intel's chips are said to have "inferior performance" in comparison to Qualcomm's technology.

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

RamGuy Avatar
57 months ago
And.......Intel chip sucks!! :-(

Sounds like this is the NEW TSMC vs Samsung chip debate.
This is unfortunate. It's fairly common knowledge the Intel version of the iPhone 7 is significantly worse than the QUALCOMM version. I switched and signal strength and speed both went back up.

Sucks Apple has to go with the inferior supplier :-(
Are you serious? "Sucks" is a way too harsh a term to be used here. Sucks should mean that the Intel WWAN chips are faulty, causing various issues like drop-outs and whatnot. Having a chip that gives you slightly worse Throughput/RSRP does not mean it downright sucks. People really need to get their acts together. This is no need to blow everything out of proportions all the time.

If you seriously consider the difference between the Qualcomm MDM9645M and Intel XMM7360 to be of such significance that the Intel versions downright sucks you must hate the iPhone 6S as the Qualcomm MDM9635M in the iPhone 6S scored worse on the Throughput/RSRP ratings on pretty much all the tests compared to the Intel XMM7360..

What's even funnier is how the Intel XMM7360 actually beats the Qualcomm MDM9645M at Throughput/RSRP on lower signal levels. But who care about that? People care more about having 140mbps vs 110mbps in good coverage, compared to having 15mbps vs 25mbps in bad coverage.

What kind of applications do you use while roaming that makes you notice the difference between having 140mbps vs 110mbps over LTE with good signal strength?

I don't care. It's not like the networks are pushing the limits of what the chips can support. However I am curious on their CDMA abilities since Qualcomm owns a lot of patents on that chip technology.
Good to see that there is still at least a few members who don't jump onto the whine-train as soon as a article goes live on Macrumours.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sunny1990 Avatar
57 months ago
And.......Intel chip sucks!! :-(
---------------------------------------------------------------
"ugh!- Sounds like this is the NEW TSMC vs Samsung chip debate.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KamranMackey Avatar
57 months ago
That's the issue here. With a weak data connection, the Qualcomm modem still works good.
So does the Intel modem, so...what's your point?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Stridder44 Avatar
57 months ago
And.......Intel chip sucks!! :-(
---------------------------------------------------------------
"ugh!- Sounds like this is the NEW TSMC vs Samsung chip debate.
Comments like yours are why this forum needs the down-vote arrow back again.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Crzyrio Avatar
57 months ago
Apple puts state of the art LTE Modems with capability of ridiculous speeds, people be like:
What is the point.
Those speeds are not even available.
I am going to go through my data faster now

Apple puts limits performance of chips so all iPhones are on same level but still crazy fast, people:
What the HELL Apple.
Why are you limiting my phone
I want what I paid for, not a inferior product.

:confused:
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcan Avatar
57 months ago
This is unfortunate. It's fairly common knowledge the Intel version of the iPhone 7 is significantly worse than the Broadcom version. I switched and signal strength and speed both went back up.

Sucks Apple has to go with the inferior supplier :-(
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
gradiente iphone white

Brazilian Electronics Company Revives Long-Running iPhone Trademark Dispute

Tuesday May 19, 2020 1:06 pm PDT by
Apple has been involved in a long-running iPhone trademark dispute in Brazil, which was revived today by IGB Electronica, a Brazilian consumer electronics company that originally registered the "iPhone" name in 2000. IGB Electronica fought a multi-year battle with Apple in an attempt to get exclusive rights to the "iPhone" trademark, but ultimately lost, and now the case has been brought to...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Premium Subscribers Can Now Use iOS Picture-in-Picture: Here's How

Wednesday August 25, 2021 3:55 am PDT by
Google has rolled out picture-in-picture support as an "experimental" feature for YouTube premium subscribers, allowing them to watch video in a small window when the app is closed. If you're a premium YouTube subscriber looking to try out picture-in-picture, follow these steps: Launch a web browser and sign into your YouTube account at YouTube.com. Navigate to www.youtube.com/new. Scroll...
2012macpro

Apple Outlines Metal-Capable Cards Compatible With macOS Mojave on 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro Models

Monday September 24, 2018 3:26 pm PDT by
Apple's new macOS Mojave update is not compatible with mid-2010 and mid-2012 Mac Pros with stock GPUs, but it is supported on 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro models that have been upgraded with graphics cards that support Metal. Apple today shared a new support document that provides a list of graphics cards that are Metal-capable, which will be useful for 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro owners who want to...
apple privacy

Apple Publishes FAQ to Address Concerns About CSAM Detection and Messages Scanning

Monday August 9, 2021 1:50 am PDT by
Apple has published a FAQ titled "Expanded Protections for Children" which aims to allay users' privacy concerns about the new CSAM detection in iCloud Photos and communication safety for Messages features that the company announced last week. "Since we announced these features, many stakeholders including privacy organizations and child safety organizations have expressed their support of...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Expecting iPhone and iPad Supply Constraints in September Quarter

Tuesday July 27, 2021 2:34 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call covering the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CFO Luca Maesteri said that Apple is expecting supply constraints to affect the iPhone and the iPad in the coming quarter. "The supply constraints that we've seen in the June quarter will be higher in the September quarter," said Maestri. The constraints will impact iPhone and iPad sales...
anker lightning cable mfi

Unwrap a New Apple Device? Stock Up on Extra Certified Lightning Cables for as Little as $6

Monday December 25, 2017 5:45 am PST by
If you unwrapped an Apple product today it likely came with one of the company's first-party Lightning cables, but having an extra on hand is always a good idea, so you can place it in other rooms in your house, in your car, or in a bag when you travel. For that reason, now's a good time to shop for third-party Lightning cables that are cheaper than Apple's own accessory, but still Made For...
apple screen time screen icons

Persistent Kids Finding Loopholes in Apple's Screen Time Limits

Tuesday October 15, 2019 9:44 am PDT by
Apple is currently engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with persistent kids looking to circumvent Screen Time restrictions, but the company has been receiving some criticism for not moving quickly enough to lock down some of the loopholes, reports The Washington Post. A few of the loopholes and ways for parents to shut them down are documented on the site Protect Young Eyes, while these and...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...