All iPhone XI and iPhone 9 handsets might use Intel modems

Cesar Mills
February 6, 2018

Apple could very well turn exclusively to Intel for such chips given the severity of the situation, but Kuo notes that exclusivity can't be determined at this point, considering Apple typically prefers diversity in the supply chain.

Apple and Qualcomm are already entangled in competing lawsuits related to royalty payments to Qualcomm for their modem chips and patent infringement by Qualcomm over power management patents owned by Apple.

Intel, the chipmaker that has been Apple's one of the key partners for Mac models, may become the sole supplier for the upcoming iPhone X smartphone's modem chip.

9to5Mac has sourced this news to a Taiwanese business group KGI Securities which informed that Apple has bought chips from both Qualcomm and Intel for its iPhone 7 sets. The Intel XMM 7560 modem includes support for GSM and CDMA, which allows the same modem chip to be used for iPhones on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Qualcomm even went so far as to file suit against Apple's device manufacturers (Foxconn, Pegatron, Wistron, and Compal Electronics).

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It comes down to Intel finally catching up on the CDMA side. In fact, the iPhone X sports Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 modem. This time, he claims that all the handsets launched this year will run Intel inside.

That would have a huge impact on streamlining Apple's product inventory, which now has to cope with several different variations of what outwardly look like the same device. It could also allow Apple to accelerate its eSIM plans, which it has pushed on the iPad, effectively allowing iPhone buyers to pick up a phone and then choose their operator of choice during the setup process, without going near a carrier store. It will be the same case in 2017, when the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 series were rolled out, and the analyst said Apple is unlikely to repeat the missteps committed in the past.

Qualcomm issued a revenue forecast last week that missed estimates.

But that's unlikely to be why Apple has supposedly come to this decision; rather its ongoing lawsuits with Qualcomm are probably a big factor.

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