Definitive Qualcomm (A1660/A1661) v. Intel (A1778/A1784) iPhone 7/7 Plus Thread

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Mr. Zarniwoop, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. Mr. Zarniwoop, Sep 18, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016

    Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #1
    As many are aware, there are two different versions of the iPhone 7/7 Plus for sale in the US:

    Model A1660/A1661 (GSM/CDMA)
    with Qualcomm Snapdragon X12 Modem (LTE Advanced up to Cat. 12 downlink with 600 Mbps peak download speed)
    for Sprint and Verizon
    but also works on AT&T and T-Mobile

    Model A1778/A1784 (GSM only)
    with Intel XMM 7360 Modem (LTE Advanced up to Cat. 10 downlink with 450 Mbps peak download speed)
    for AT&T and T-Mobile
    but will not work on Sprint nor Verizon

    Besides CDMA support (on the A1660/A1661 only), it's difficult to answer any minor differences in usage between the Intel and Qualcomm models of the iPhone 7. This thread is posted to facilitate discussion between real-world differences, if any, between the Intel and Qualcomm LTE platforms in power usage and performance.

    This may be a similar situation to "Chipgate" when Apple dual-sourced their A9 system-on-a-chip from both Samsung and TSMC, where benchmarks found the TSMC more power-efficient. However, real-world differences meant that an iPhone 6S with a TSMC-made Apple A9 had only 2-3% better battery life than one with a Samsung-made Apple A9.

    Is the Qualcomm or Intel modem better with battery life? Is one faster? Interested in what we know.
     
  2. kjotwani macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2014
    #2
    Another question. Being a part of iUP we get unlocked phones and also get a chance to change carriers anytime we like. Now since the current GSM ones don't work with CDMA networks and if someone switches carriers, how are things supposed to work?
     
  3. dagored macrumors 65816

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    Florida
  4. Kahsheh macrumors regular

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    Sep 14, 2016
  5. lancastor macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 25, 2011
  6. theshoehorn macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    #6
    My understanding is you theoretically can use the Intel modem iPhone on Verizon, but wouldn't have access to any of the CDMA... you'd be reliant on LTE and VoLTE.
     
  7. kjotwani macrumors regular

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    Sep 11, 2014
    #7
    That would be no voice and only data or voice over lte?
     
  8. DeSlaye macrumors newbie

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    Sep 18, 2016
    #8
    Someone on Reddit did some benchmarks between the two, the Qualcomm one appears to be faster.
     
  9. lancastor macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 25, 2011
  10. EJ8 macrumors 6502a

    EJ8

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  11. noobinator macrumors 601

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    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #11
    Definitively nothing will be learned in this thread except a lot of anecdotal evidence.
     
  12. dagored macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Location:
    Florida
    #12
    Verizon has the Qualcomm and AT&T the intel. Apple has a page listing models and info. Some should post it.
     
  13. Dirtydutch macrumors 6502

    Dirtydutch

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2015
    Location:
    Jerseyyy
    #13
    If you're locked in an IUP to a carrier like at&t they'll give you the GSM model another user posted
     
  14. EJ8, Sep 18, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016

    EJ8 macrumors 6502a

    EJ8

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    #14
    Thanks. I figured it out. It's actually printed on the back of the phone. In the tiniest most impossible to read text. Especially if you have a black phone. I had to get my 6S out and use the magnifying flashlight app. I got the crappy Intel chip. It's a regular 7, 128GB, ordered from Apple.com but for the AT&T network.

    Check out what the black phone looks like magnified and lit up. Very speckly...

    http://imgur.com/a/9uHf7
     
  15. nivekr11 macrumors regular

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    Aug 1, 2010
    #16
    I noticed field test mode doesn't work in intel modems.
     
  16. realeric macrumors 6502a

    realeric

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    United States
    #17
    I expected it.

    Intel baseband modem = Cat 10(450Mbps), 2015 technology, 28nm fabrication, use more battery.
    Qualcomm baseband modem = Cat 12(600Mbps), 2016 technology, 14nm fabrication, use less battery.
     
  17. Mr. Zarniwoop thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #18
    This question is the only easy one.

    It does not work that way this year. The change-to-any-carrier benefit is no longer advertised, and only the Qualcomm models work this way.

    On the Apple iPhone Upgrade Program, at least this year, you must activate the phone you are buying with the correct carrier. This means if you want to trade-in your AT&T iPhone 6S for a Verizon iPhone 7 under the iUP, you must also activate it in-store on a postpaid Verizon plan.

    If you don't have a postpaid Verizon plan, the only way to buy the Verizon iPhone 7 is to buy it full price. It is unlocked, and activates and works just fine on AT&T or T-Mobile.

    If you are on the iUP, it's worth knowing that your old AT&T or T-Mobile 6S or 6S plus has a Qualcomm modem and will activate and work just fine on Verizon. I tried it with my AT&T 6S Plus. So, you can sell your old 6S or hand it down safely without worrying about network compatibilities. Just don't forget you still have to pay it off. ;)

    I don't know how flexible Sprint devices are on Verizon nor how easy it is to activate a non-Sprint device on Sprint. I didn't try either.
     
  18. kjotwani macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2014
    #19
    Hmm
    I spoke to the Apple Store. They told come in return ur GSM specific handset. Exchange for a CDMA and don't need Verizon account. They'all activate it on At&T since it supports it. Problem solved :)
    Also this is on iUP. Not buying it on full price
     
  19. lancastor macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 25, 2011
    #20
    So in Europe you get the Intel version?

    Or is it a lottery (like Samsung and TSMC CPU) last year?
     
  20. Kahsheh macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2016
    #21
    Woot woot! Let us know how the outcome. Would like to know if they ask you to apply for a new loan...
     
  21. KPOM, Sep 18, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016

    KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #22
    The phones are unlocked. However, just because a phone is unlocked does not mean it is interoperable with carriers. That was not part of the "voluntary agreement" that the carriers worked out with the FCC. All they agreed is that they would unlock phones once customers met contractual requirements and they would not refuse to allow a compatible phone onto their network.

    Note that Samsung and Motorola have, at least in the past, released different versions of the same phone to each carrier, sometimes supporting only the LTE bands that those carriers used.

    Unfortunately, the iUP requires a participating carrier account, so you are stuck with the carrier-assigned inventory. Last year it wasn't an issue (except for the minor difference in that the AT&T model supported Band 30), but this year it is an issue in that AT&T & T-Mobile phones do not support Verizon or Sprint's CDMA networks.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 18, 2016 ---
    That's good to hear. Perhaps after the initial rush new buyer will be able to choose the Verizon version at purchase.

    That said, I wonder if AT&T will be writing carrier settings compatible with both the Intel and Qualcomm modems. Sure, the Qualcomm modems will work, but will things such as 3x carrier aggregation be turned on?
    --- Post Merged, Sep 18, 2016 ---
    It's been producing nonsensical results for a while. My guess is that it was written for older Qualcomm modems and is basically abandonware.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 18, 2016 ---
    It might be a lottery since the rumor was that Intel was getting about 1/3 of Apple's orders. The Japanese, Korean, and Chinese versions of the iPhone get the Qualcomm modem, as do the Verizon and Sprint models in the US. That doesn't seem like 2/3.
     
  22. patrickbarnes macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    #23
    Except that the X12 is software locked Cat 10 speeds. And you're never going to see 600 Mbit in the real world.

    This test proves very little. Apart from the tester having poor T-Mobile coverage.
     
  23. Mr. Zarniwoop thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #24
    I was told the same thing over the phone.

    However, in-store, no go with apologies for incorrect information. This was on Friday.

    If it works for you let us know.
     
  24. kjotwani macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2014
    #25
    On phone was it the store rep or a Apple rep? I had called a store rep and they told as long as there's phone available they'll do it.
     

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