Intel to Supply Apple With 70% of LTE Chips Needed for 2018 iPhones

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Intel is planning to supply Apple with 70 percent of the modem chips that will be used in the 2018 iPhone lineup, according an unnamed source that spoke to Fast Company. Qualcomm will allegedly provide the rest.

    KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously suggested Intel might be Apple's sole supplier for LTE modems in 2018 given Apple's ongoing and increasingly tense legal battle with Qualcomm, while The Wall Street Journal said Apple might use Mediatek and Intel chips to avoid working with Qualcomm, but Fast Company says that's not the case.


    Intel will supply the lion's share of the chips, but because 2018 is the first year that Intel is fabricating its own chips using its 14-nanometer process, Fast Company's source says Apple plans to continue to use Qualcomm chips in 2018.
    Intel is reportedly not hitting its expected modem chip yield rates at the current time, with just over half of chips produced coming out in an acceptable quality. Intel engineers are, however, confident that yield rates can be pushed up before production ramps up in the summer months.

    While Intel may not be Apple's sole supplier for modem chips in 2018, if its chip production speeds up and kinks are worked out, Apple will transition solely to Intel for its 2019 iPhone lineup, effectively cutting ties with Qualcomm.

    Apple first adopted Intel chips in the iPhone 7, released in 2016, moving away from Qualcomm as its sole supplier. Since early 2017, Apple and Qualcomm have been embroiled in a bitter legal battle, which has led to Apple's efforts to cease using Qualcomm chips all together.

    Article Link: Intel to Supply Apple With 70% of LTE Chips Needed for 2018 iPhones
  2. adamski23 macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2017
  3. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    May 31, 2015
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    Things will still be interesting this year, because the rumor is that the Intel modem WILL support CDMA for Verizon and Sprint, which means that Apple needs Qualcomm this time around only for more supply and not also for the lack of CDMA support from the Intel modems.

    Still, there's nothing worse than unannounced differences for customers (such as the A9 TSMC vs. Samsung models or the more recent Intel vs. Qualcomm models from the iPhone 7/8/X).
  4. fairuz macrumors 68000


    Aug 27, 2017
    Silicon Valley
    Qualcomm asked for it. I think it's safe to say Steve Jobs would have let this happen.
  5. Will.O.Bie macrumors 6502


    Aug 29, 2016
    Wow! How is that gonna work if you try and go back to the supplier you are suing? Awkward!

    More importantly, what are the chances those chips will fail and get pulled back in production with delays till 2019? Hopefully, the brains at Intel pulls a rabbit out of a hat and I'll be happy with the announcement of the X Plus.
  6. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Jun 22, 2007
    Wonder how will this relate to the rumored dual SIM iPhone.
    It is interesting watching the corporate strategy of Apple moving away (or trying to) from partners they have worked closely together before, like Google (maps), Samsung (screens, chips) , and now Qualcomm (modem).
  7. darkelipse04 macrumors member


    Nov 5, 2004
    Which Qualcomm modem would be suitable for the next iPhone? I believe the intel XMM 7560 is the other modem.
  8. jntdroid macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2011
    Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Qualcomm has had years to perfect the LTE handoff on CDMA, and I don't know if I trust Intel with that yet. Could be a non-issue, but that’s my concern personally.
  9. Ds6778 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 9, 2016
    While in no fan of Qualcomm, it’s kind of annoying that Apple is willingly using an inferior modem. Didn’t I read another article/post stating that Apple actually gimped the current Qualcomm modem so it wouldn’t outshine the Intel one?
  10. TC_GoldRush macrumors 6502


    Dec 6, 2017
    Nevada, USA
    Great... Now their phones are making the switch to Intel. 2006 anyone?
  11. Kaibelf macrumors 68020


    Apr 29, 2009
    Silicon Valley, CA
    If they successfully get Qualcomm to change tactics and stop with their royalty situation, it would have been worth it in the end. If not, then the Intel modems aren't materially affecting iOS device sales so Apple can eventually drop them without losing much, but Qualcomm will face years of depressed business as they will still be essentially fighting with every one of their major customers.
  12. Theyayarealivin macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2013
    So, if I would like to obtain a Qual model phone how can I secure one during pre order day?
  13. TantalizedMind macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2007
    So are you guys saying that the current iPhone 8 Plus and/or iPhone X for Verizon (CDMA) only have Qualcomm chips?

    Or does Intel make them too?
  14. Sappharad macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2009
    Intel does not make the chips in any of the current CDMA models. The Intel modem being used is older and didn't support it yet.
  15. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    Sounds similar to the A9 production that was shared between 16nm TSMC and 14nm Samsung.

    Eventually TSMC won all of Apple's orders and became the sole supplier for A10 and onward. Keep in mind the Samsung process was slightly better compared to TSMC in terms of die size. But TSMC proved to be a better long term partner due to having a better roadmap.
  16. yeah macrumors 6502a


    Jul 12, 2011
    Hopefully the Intel modems and iPhone antennas are drastically improved. 4x4 MIMO and Band 71 will be a welcome addition!
  17. rjohnstone macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2007
    PHX, AZ.
    Even if Intel starts making CDMA capable modems, Qualcomm still gets paid.
    They own a huge chunk of CDMA patents.
    Heck Qualcomm still gets a piece of every Intel modem sale due to the SEP licenses.
  18. TantalizedMind macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2007
    So I guess if I want to make sure I have a iPhone with a good chip/modem I better buy a current model rather than waiting 5 months in case they do put Intel “inside” (LOL) the new 2018 CDMA iPhone(s).
  19. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    Right now, none of Apple's suppliers are paying the royalties to Qualcomm. Intel is part of the group that has accused Qualcomm of being anti-competitive.
  20. Abazigal macrumors G4


    Jul 18, 2011
    It’s called making the wrong move now so that they can make the right move in the future.
  21. bt231 macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2016
    This tells me once again how once mighty Intel's manufacturing has fallen so deep. Barely 50% yield using its own 14nm process? And presumably still not the same quality as Qualcomm's, manufactured by TSMC or Samsung. No wonder no one want to use their foundry business.
  22. jecowa macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2006
    It sounds like there is already some information out about the modems being used in the next generation of iPhones. Do we know if they will have 5G?
  23. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    No, the XMM 7560 will offer Gigabit LTE.
  24. jecowa macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2006
    That sounds great! I think the original iPhone X is only like 200 Mbps.
  25. KiwiAdventure Suspended

    Dec 7, 2010
    New Zealand

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