Intel to Supply Apple With 70% of LTE Chips Needed for 2018 iPhones

Intel is planning to supply Apple with 70 percent of the modem chips that will be used in the 2018 iPhone lineup, according an unnamed source that spoke to Fast Company. Qualcomm will allegedly provide the rest.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously suggested Intel might be Apple's sole supplier for LTE modems in 2018 given Apple's ongoing and increasingly tense legal battle with Qualcomm, while The Wall Street Journal said Apple might use Mediatek and Intel chips to avoid working with Qualcomm, but Fast Company says that's not the case.

intel iphone x
Intel will supply the lion's share of the chips, but because 2018 is the first year that Intel is fabricating its own chips using its 14-nanometer process, Fast Company's source says Apple plans to continue to use Qualcomm chips in 2018.

Given that technological transition, Apple is apparently waiting to see how well Intel fulfills this year's order. If Intel underdelivers, Qualcomm will make up the balance on top of the 30% it's already planning to provide. There's also a chance that if Intel can produce enough chips on time and on budget it could get more than the planned 70%, our source says.

Intel is reportedly not hitting its expected modem chip yield rates at the current time, with just over half of chips produced coming out in an acceptable quality. Intel engineers are, however, confident that yield rates can be pushed up before production ramps up in the summer months.

While Intel may not be Apple's sole supplier for modem chips in 2018, if its chip production speeds up and kinks are worked out, Apple will transition solely to Intel for its 2019 iPhone lineup, effectively cutting ties with Qualcomm.

Apple first adopted Intel chips in the iPhone 7, released in 2016, moving away from Qualcomm as its sole supplier. Since early 2017, Apple and Qualcomm have been embroiled in a bitter legal battle, which has led to Apple's efforts to cease using Qualcomm chips all together.

Related Roundup: iPhone XS

Top Rated Comments

fairuz Avatar
36 months ago
Qualcomm asked for it. I think it's safe to say Steve Jobs would have let this happen.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
adamski23 Avatar
36 months ago
The hunt for the elusive Qualcomm phones
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jntdroid Avatar
36 months ago
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Qualcomm has had years to perfect the LTE handoff on CDMA, and I don't know if I trust Intel with that yet. Could be a non-issue, but that’s my concern personally.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ds6778 Avatar
36 months ago
While in no fan of Qualcomm, it’s kind of annoying that Apple is willingly using an inferior modem. Didn’t I read another article/post stating that Apple actually gimped the current Qualcomm modem so it wouldn’t outshine the Intel one?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
36 months ago
It was originally going to be 90%, but Intel had demanded something Apple just couldn't allow:

Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rjohnstone Avatar
36 months ago
Even if Intel starts making CDMA capable modems, Qualcomm still gets paid.
They own a huge chunk of CDMA patents.
Heck Qualcomm still gets a piece of every Intel modem sale due to the SEP licenses.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...
cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds Second Betas of iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 10:03 am PST by
Apple today seeded the second betas of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a month after Apple released the first betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...
caldigit thunderbolt 4 dock featured

CalDigit Introduces USB-C Dock With 10 Ports and Up to 94W Charging for Macs [Updated]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 9:16 am PST by
CalDigit today unveiled a new Thunderbolt 4 dock with a wide selection of connectivity options, including three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an SD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The dock also has a Thunderbolt 4 port that allows it to be connected to a Mac with a single cable, with up to 94W of pass-through charging for the latest MacBook...