Apple’s New iPhones May Miss Out on Higher-Speed Data Links


macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 23, 2012
The reason stems from the delicate and sometimes complicated way Apple manages the supply of the components embedded in its flagship device -- in this case, the modems, which handle the connection between a phone and the cellular network. One of Apple’s suppliers, Qualcomm Inc., sells a modem capable of the 1 gigabit download speeds. Another supplier, Intel Corp., is working on a modem with the same capability, but it won’t be ready for the iPhone’s introduction, according to people familiar with Apple’s decision.

Apple could in theory just use Qualcomm’s chips, but it has an aversion to being dependent on a single supplier, and its relationship with San Diego-based Qualcomm is particularly thorny. Cupertino, California-based Apple is embroiled in a bitter legal fight with the chipmaker, accusing the supplier of maintaining an illegal monopoly, and it’s seeking to loosen Qualcomm’s grip on the market for high-end smartphone modems. That’s why Apple will stick with Qualcomm modems for some of its new iPhones while relying on Intel for others.

Until Intel is able to offer its chips with matching features, Apple won’t enable some of capabilities of the phones running with Qualcomm modems, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plan isn’t public. Apple, Qualcomm and Intel declined to comment.


Jan 10, 2012
Give me better and more stable WiFi! That's where 98% of my iPhone usage is and when I'm using it outside of WiFi I'm taking pictures or doing directions. I'd rather wait for the technology to mature a bit as well - I got one of the first Android phones to use LTE and it was not a great experience. So I don't really care.
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macrumors 603
Jun 22, 2007
Err, wake me up when real life carriers actually max out the basic LTE throughput. Seriously, in many countries, LTE just means lower latency or being able to get something since it's less congested. Actual speed often times are not even faster than theoretical 3G/3.5G throughput. So even is Apple is "behind," by the time real life speed of carriers catch up, we will be using iPhone 12S.


macrumors 68040
Sep 26, 2007
Not uncommon micro-sacrifice you make with iPhone.

Doubt it deters many from upgrading.


macrumors newbie
Dec 15, 2012
This is exactly the question I asked less than a month ago. I was waiting for some mention, any mention, of the 600 MHz band in the discussion of the new iPads. Only a slight note of "LTE availability" was given. Qualcomm has the better LTE chipsets right now but the legal dustup between Apple & Qualcomm invariably means Intel baseband chips in the new iPads & iPhones. T-Mobile already has tipped their hand that the 600 MHz block is going to be the new foundation for their network, including 5G, and the marketing machine known as John Legere is going to be pounding the 1 Gbps speeds over 4G LTE available this fall. I tweeted Neville Ray about the new iPads and his answer was "Ask Apple." It does seem Apple has been behind the 8 ball when it comes to cell data speeds which the Bloomberg article points out but I'm suspecting this time might be different in consumers' eyes because Apple's offering now is a much more mature market than when the 3 or 3GS came out. If the Qualcomm chipset will be partially disabled until the lawsuit is resolved, you can bet Samsung, the Pixel, etc already are in pre-production w/ side by side demos noting Apple's phone is hamstrung.


macrumors 68020
Nov 19, 2013
Chattanooga, TN
As if we would actually be able to hit max LTE speeds anyways. No biggie. I spend 99% of my day on wifi anyways, which is personally far more realiable than a cell providers network.
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macrumors 68030
Nov 27, 2007
Couldn't care less. I have wifi access most of the time, and even when I don't, I can already stream Netflix HD content at the current LTE speed.


macrumors 68000
Mar 21, 2010
Nice story re LTE speeds. Nervous Nellies dropped Apple share price. Re
buttle editorial written showing we don't even need it now.


macrumors 6502
Dec 9, 2008
Bluetooth 5 is more of a concern for me. Really hoping they don't drop the ball there.


macrumors 68030
Dec 22, 2016
I've had 200mbps within LTE+ areas here, on a 6s.

I'm not concerned if the best available chip today isn't included in the 8.