Apple to Use Intel Modems in AT&T iPhone 7, Qualcomm Modems for Verizon and China

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Apr 12, 2001
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Multiple rumors have claimed that Intel will supply at least a portion of LTE and Wi-Fi modems for the iPhone 7 series, alongside existing supplier Qualcomm, and a new report offers a closer look at how the orders will be divided between the companies.

Bloomberg reports that Intel modems will be reserved for AT&T iPhone 7 models, and some other versions of the smartphone sold in other countries, while Qualcomm is said to remain a supplier of modems for Verizon and all Chinese models. The wording suggests that Qualcomm may retain orders in some other regions as well.
Choosing Intel's part for an important role in the product that generates about two-thirds of Apple's annual revenue may represent a calculated gamble by the company. Bringing in second-source suppliers is a long-established practice by device makers looking to make sure they're in a better position to negotiate on price. However, analysts such as Stacy Rasgon at Sanford C. Bernstein have said that Qualcomm's modems remain ahead of Intel's offerings in performance when measured by how much data they can get from the network into the phone.
Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf previously hinted that the chipmaker would be losing modem orders from one of its major customers to one of its leading competitors, although it is reportedly still "retaining a major chunk" of Apple's business rather than being dropped as a supplier entirely.

Taiwanese website DigiTimes recently reported that Intel would supply "up to 50 percent" of modems for the iPhone 7 series, while CLSA Securities analyst Srini Pajjuri told investors in March that Intel's share of orders would be a "significant portion," likely falling in range of 30 to 40 percent of production.

Apple is rumored to use Intel's XMM 7360 LTE modem [PDF] with faster theoretical download speeds up to 450 Mbps and upload speeds up to 100 Mbps. Meanwhile, Qualcomm's X12 modem is a likely candidate for the iPhone 7, with theoretical download speeds up to 600 Mbps and upload speeds up to 150 Mbps.

Both rumored Intel and Qualcomm modems would be capable of faster speeds than the MDM9635 chipset in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which provides theoretical download speeds up to 300 Mbps and upload speeds up to 50 Mbps. However, real-world speeds are often slower due to network limitations.

Article Link: Apple to Use Intel Modems in AT&T iPhone 7, Qualcomm Modems for Verizon and China
 

Xgm541

macrumors 65816
May 3, 2011
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810
So, this article is leading me to believe ATT will be an inferior product as opposed to the Verizon version. Is this what we are to take from it?
Yes. And this will mean that people will use anecdotal evidence to "prove" that there's a big difference between the two. In reality, the performance difference will probably be negligible, especially given the fact that speed is mainly limited by the tower capacity than the modem.
 

Xgm541

macrumors 65816
May 3, 2011
1,090
810
Why do you say that?
Probably due to this quote:

"Sanford C. Bernstein have said that Qualcomm's modems remain ahead of Intel's offerings in performance when measured by how much data they can get from the network into the phone."
 

emcdonald75

macrumors newbie
Mar 10, 2016
5
9
Hasn't Apple been through this debacle already after they used Samsung and TSMC chipsets in the iPhone 6S/6S Plus? I believe Apple likes the spectacle of a mobile tech review community going after each other about which chip set, now modem, is better than the other.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
21,353
26,226
Probably due to this quote:

"Sanford C. Bernstein have said that Qualcomm's modems remain ahead of Intel's offerings in performance when measured by how much data they can get from the network into the phone."
What does a Wall Street sell-side firm know about technology?
 
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sherifhanna

macrumors newbie
Apr 21, 2016
15
23
Oh man... This will be Samsung or TSMC all over again in the forums
Yes. And this will mean that people will use anecdotal evidence to "prove" that there's a big difference between the two. In reality, the performance difference will probably be negligible, especially given the fact that speed is mainly limited by the tower capacity than the modem.
Sorry but that is not entirely true. Even under completely identical conditions in a controlled environment, performance varies from modem to modem for various reasons. The difference can be up to 20-30%, again under completely identical network conditions (e.g. both modems assigned the same amount of resources from the network).

You can read about some modem vs. modem tests here:
https://www.qualcomm.com/news/snapd...-4-reasons-why-snapdragon-modems-are-superior
 

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,113
419
Probably due to this quote:

"Sanford C. Bernstein have said that Qualcomm's modems remain ahead of Intel's offerings in performance when measured by how much data they can get from the network into the phone."
Except that since neither network gets anywhere near the theoretical maximum, this doesn't matter except for on paper.
 
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ElZeus

macrumors regular
May 26, 2008
239
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Thus ends the Verizon's run of having the best iPhone for multi-carrier/unlocked/ use and resale value.
 

sherifhanna

macrumors newbie
Apr 21, 2016
15
23
Except that since neither network gets anywhere near the theoretical maximum, this doesn't matter except for on paper.
That is entirely false. There's a direct relationship between the technologies that enable the peak speeds and real world experience. Real world experience scales with the relative gains between the peak speeds.

Add to that the difference in performance when implementing the exact same feature.
[doublepost=1465575550][/doublepost]
Thus ends the Verizon's run of having the best iPhone for multi-carrier/unlocked/ use and resale value.
Actually it would be the exact opposite of this.
 
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citysnaps

macrumors 603
Oct 10, 2011
5,994
9,766
San Francisco
Hasn't Apple been through this debacle already after they used Samsung and TSMC chipsets in the iPhone 6S/6S Plus? I believe Apple likes the spectacle of a mobile tech review community going after each other about which chip set, now modem, is better than the other.
It's only a debacle for the few forum keyboard warriors that know absolutely nothing about the underlying technology.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
10,920
14,606
Central U.S.
So, this article is leading me to believe ATT will be an inferior product as opposed to the Verizon version. Is this what we are to take from it?
Well, that would be the case normally with AT&T, lol. But yeah. Realistically? Probably can't tell a difference because no real world speeds come close. Perhaps if you plan to keep your phone for many years. But now? Nah.

I'm pretty happy with Verizon right now. They upgraded me from the 6GB plan to the 12GB plan for only $16/mo, and gave me a free 12GB of bonus data per month. So I've got an insanely cheap 24GB data plan now, haha. Mentioning moving to T-Mobile apparently goes a long way!
 

Xgm541

macrumors 65816
May 3, 2011
1,090
810
Sorry but that is not entirely true. Even under completely identical conditions in a controlled environment, performance varies from modem to modem for various reasons. The difference can be up to 20-30%, again under completely identical network conditions (e.g. both modems assigned the same amount of resources from the network).

You can read about some modem vs. modem tests here:
https://www.qualcomm.com/news/snapd...-4-reasons-why-snapdragon-modems-are-superior
<sarcasm>For some reason, using articles and tests from a qualcomm website saying that qualcomm modems are superior doesnt feel right</sarcasm>

As far as I know, this "modem vs modem" testing is similar to drug company testing. They can test a product 10 times, where 1 out of those 10 times the competitor does worse, and they can publish only the one where the competitor did worse that one time and call it truth.
 

Koalazub

macrumors newbie
Apr 1, 2013
27
12
Meh, just keep the headphone jack this time.
Uhhh no. Sorry mate? It needs to go. That piece of hardware has bugged me. From the beginning. And I have nothing but admiration(because and idea is every one, but. A completed project is everyone too!) but everyone needs to hell to rid he world of the 3.5mm jack.
 
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