Intel has made no secret of its ambition to turn Apple away from Qualcomm and provide it with mobile components inside. Apple currently uses its own A-series processors in its mobile devices which are based on ARM’s architecture. Intel wants to get in on the game as well and it said last year that it wants to become a mobile component supplier for Apple.
A new report suggests that Intel has bagged a deal with Apple which will see it provide LTE modems for the 2016 iPhone. Apple is not going to unveil its new smartphone until fall 2016 and it’s possible that the new flagship might be called iPhone 7. Intel’s 7360 LTE chips support 29 LTE bands and can provide speeds of up to 450 Mbps down so they would certainly be a good addition for the iPhone.
A conflicting report claims that Apple might only use Intel’s LTE modems in certain models, like those heading to emerging markets in Asia, but we know that Apple doesn’t have a tendency to differentiate its products that. Analyst Ben Bajarin holds the view that instead of doing this Apple is going to make a universal switch and adopt Intel’s LTE modem for all iPhone 7 models.
If these reports are true this would serve as a big blow to Qualcomm which has been a steady supplier for modem chips to Apple. The company is ultimately going to base its decision on performance, and if Intel can prove that its chips can perform better, it just might be able to win Apple’s business.