2018 iPhone tipped to dump Qualcomm completely

Delia Walker
February 6, 2018

Apple now uses a mix of Qualcomm and Intel modems in its handsets, but for the iPhone XI, iPhone 9 and any other 2018 model Apple may exclusively use Intel ones.

A report in 9to5mac said that Intel's chip will support dual SIM and dual standby.

However, Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst associated with KGI Securities, did not rule out Qualcomm returning to the supply chain "perhaps as concessions in the patent lawsuit settlement".

As reported by AppleInsider, Ming-Chi Kuo has issued an investor note, where he claims that Apple's LCD-based edgeless iPhone will become more popular than the company's OLED-based models.

The reason? Intel meets Apple's technical requirements and offers more competitive prices, according to the analyst.

Apple might be moving away from Qualcomm as their exclusive LTE baseband chip provider.

Qualcomm had earlier filed complaints against Apple seeking to impose a complete ban of all of the latter's products - read several iPhone and a few iPad models - that are alleged to infringe on the chipmaker's patents.

It's also possible Intel is not quite ready to support high-speed 5G networks, or at least not as ready as Qualcomm, which could give Apple no choice but to opt for Qualcomm baseband components. That means Apple handed over as much as $40 to Qualcomm on an $800 iPhone. The company is quite dependant on the iPhone lineup for revenues and even the slightest fluctuation create a lot of worries. In fact, the iPhone X sports Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 modem. Apple is locked in a bitter legal fight with Qualcomm over royalties and patent licensing terms.

But the December quarter overall figures do tell a different story, with the company suffering its first year-on-year decline for iPhone in the holiday season since the smartphone was launched a decade ago. According to sources, it is confirmed that Apple iPhone will have Intel LTE models in the new phones, which are going to be released in 2018. Due to this, Kuo's indication of Apple working closely with Intel also makes sense and holds weight.

Qualcomm and Apple have been working together for quite some time now.

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