iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max Equipped With Intel Modems


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple's new 2019 iPhone lineup uses modems from Intel rather than Qualcomm, PCMag confirmed today thanks to the devices' field test screens.

We already expected Apple to use Intel modems in the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro because Apple's renewed relationship with Qualcomm came too late in the year for it to swap over to Qualcomm modems, so PCMag's news isn't a huge surprise, but it's useful to have confirmation.

PCMag says that Intel and Qualcomm-based devices have different menu configurations for the field test screens, and Apple's newest devices use the Intel layout.
We figured this out because the field test menus on Intel-based and Qualcomm-based iPhones have different menu items, and the menu items have stayed consistent through the generations. (I checked on models from the 6s generation up to the XR.)

According to Apple, there is one model of each of the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max sold in the US. With one of each device in hand, I went to the field test mode and found that it had an Intel layout.
The field test information does not specify which Intel modem Apple is using, but the new iPhones are most likely equipped with the XMM 7660, the final modem that Intel produced before shutting down.

PCMag says that it expects the new iPhones will feature 20 percent faster LTE speeds than last year's model, but testing will need to be done to confirm. The iPhone 11 will be somewhat slower than the iPhone 11 Pro because while it features Gigabit-class LTE support this year, it has 2x2 MIMO instead of 4x4 MIMO.

Early tests shared just after the iPhone event on September 10 suggested the iPhone 11 Pro was 13 percent faster than the iPhone XS, but there was no information on how the speed comparison was conducted.

Apple has used Intel modems exclusively in recent iPhones due to its legal battle with Qualcomm, but earlier this year, Apple and Qualcomm settled their differences and inked a new deal that will see Apple using Qualcomm modems in its devices for the next few years.

Apple plans to use Qualcomm technology in the 2020 iPhone that's expected to feature 5G support, but Apple is also developing its own modem technology and purchased much of Intel's modem division to further its goals. Apple's ultimate aim is to craft its own modem chips in house, reducing its reliance on Qualcomm, and the company has reportedly set a 2021 goal for itself.

Article Link: iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max Equipped With Intel Modems
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macrumors newbie
Oct 23, 2016
Next year's lineup is looking to be a major leap with the rumored internal components (modem chip, wireless charging, Face ID improvements, under display Touch ID, etc) and external design changes.
Prediction: Half those features likely won't pan out, and many people will also be disappointed by next year's iPhone. I suspect all the folks who are convinced that this is the wrong year to upgrade have an overly optimistic view of the future.


macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
As the article states, this doesn't come as a surprise. Qualcomm 5G is coming for 2020.
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macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2015
My X has an Intel modem and the AT&T one that was found to be the worst. I hate the thing, worst reception of any iPhone I have ever owned. I want to throw this thing out of a window sometimes. I hope the intel chip in the 11 Pro is much better than my current chip.
Same I’ve try new sim and turned off a lot of setting in my phone but nothing fix is it , I’ve never had a drop call but people have trouble hearing me literally most of the time I talk on the phone in my house


macrumors 6502a
Jul 2, 2008
Qualcomm modem technology is more advanced than Intel's, but the focus on the modem manufacturer yet again ignores the fact that the best modems in the world can't perform if the antenna system doesn't perform as well.

The iPhone "You're holding it wrong" 4 had a Qualcomm modem, and couldn't escape issues due to its antenna design.

If Apple doesn't get the antenna design right in the iPhone 12, the risk for issues will continue, Qualcomm or not.


Feb 9, 2003
Aren’t these now “Apple modems”?
point well taken.
but probable full title transfer of intel's patents to apple will take a bit longer.

apple better really get a move on now that it owns the intel patent base.
apple will never be allowed to buy out Qualcomm due to monopoly considerations.
2020 iPhones that might be using Qualcomm will be interesting to compare to what apple is releasing in any products that are using its own in-house tech assisted with the intel patent base.
will be looking for announcements about senior level engineers from Qualcomm joining apple.


macrumors member
Dec 9, 2014
And this is one of the major reasons why I’m passing on this years phone. I can’t deal with another year of intel. I absolutely hate it on My XS Max
That is the very reason I'm not going to trade in my 8plus just yet. I will test drive it before selling it back to Apple as I am not going to put up with the problems I had last year with my xs max.
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macrumors regular
Aug 26, 2006
Rochester, NY
My XS Max has much, much worse connectivity than my 7 Plus did. Intel modem is a guaranteed no buy for me.
Could someone ELI5 why modem affects signal strength? I can see how modems might be able to achieve different speeds with identical signal strengths, but I'd assume the signal attenuation would be a factor of surroundings rather than modem.
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