iPhone X Models With Qualcomm Modem Still Have Faster LTE Speeds Than Those With Intel Modems


timeconsumer

macrumors 68000
Aug 1, 2008
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Portland
omg. GET REAL.

I think you missed the most important part of the article:

“Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16 is a gigabit-class modem that supports 4x4 MIMO, for example, but the functionality is disabled in the iPhone X. The result is that both the Qualcomm and Intel versions of the iPhone X have a peak theoretical download speed of 600 Mbps in most countries.”

This is the inherent problem with articles like this. Everyone’s iPhone X was fine until they read this article and discovered they might have an inferior modem. Suddenly there’s nerd outrage as they feel they’ve been cheated and want a lawsuit. Calm down people.

Real world testing with my 1901 on FiOS wifi just gave me 380/366 Mbps. And this is the “slow” modem.

http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/i/2365947377
While I agree with you, this is the important part of the article. However, if you get the Qualcomm version, you're held back since it's disabling some of functionality of what the Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 offers. Had it not been disabled, would the differences be much more apparent? That's ridiculous that Apple disabled the full functionality of the modem. In my opinion, by Apple using intel it's resulting in an inferior product overall which affects all users. I hate Qualcomm and prefer Intel as a company, but I can say the difference of having the X16 modem in my Pixel 2, I am getting signal in places that I didn't get before.
 

thadoggfather

macrumors G4
Oct 1, 2007
10,849
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While I agree with you, this is the important part of the article. However, if you get the Qualcomm version, you're held back since it's disabling some of functionality of what the Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 offers. Had it not been disabled, would the differences be much more apparent? That's ridiculous that Apple disabled the full functionality of the modem. In my opinion, by Apple using intel it's resulting in an inferior product overall which affects all users. I hate Qualcomm and prefer Intel as a company, but I can say the difference of having the X16 modem in my Pixel 2, I am getting signal in places that I didn't get before.
Is that just throttling of throughput though, or a throttling of RF?
 

BruiserB

macrumors 68000
Aug 9, 2008
1,518
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If you want the best possible LTE performance, purchasing the A1865 model is the best option. For now, this requires ordering the Verizon model if you want an unlocked device in the United States. In many other countries, and in the U.S. soon enough, Apple sells an unlocked SIM-free A1865 model.
You can also purchase the Sprint model in the Apple Store for full price and pop any SIM in it and it will be unlocked. Must be purchased from Apple for this to work.

I'm rocking the T-mobile $30 a month plan on my "Sprint" A1865 iPhone X
 

JPack

macrumors 601
Mar 27, 2017
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This article is pointless. No one in real world situation would notice any difference. Slow news day, Macrumors? Need some clicks?
im sure the difference isn't even noticable to any user.... why apple doesn't make just one version of the phone is beyond me.
LOL. It’s like pointing at the sun at saying it’s dark.

The data clearly shows there’s a significant difference at the spectrum when the signal is weak with 1-2 bars. Under those circumstances, the difference is up to 50%.
 

egodspeed

macrumors member
Dec 1, 2012
67
215
Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 2.29.25 PM.png
Interesting. When selecting Verizon as my carrier, I get presented with this. I didn't see this option before on Apple.com.

Has this option always been there? If not, then this is the SIM free version, available now. Seems like you don't need a Verizon account. Can anyone confirm?
 

JPack

macrumors 601
Mar 27, 2017
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Why doesn't Apple just make one model? Since clearly the A1865 model works on both CDMA and GSM networks. Why make a GSM only model here in the USA?
American consumers are less sensitive to cellular performance. Intel chips are cheaper.

In China for example, all iPhone X are Qualcomm. No model lottery because the users are more sensitive to performance. You also see Samsung and Huawei phones in Asia tend to have more RAM than U.S. models.
 
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thadoggfather

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Oct 1, 2007
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American consumers are less sensitive to cellular performance. Intel chips are cheaper.

In China for example, the phones are all Qualcomm. No model lottery because the users are more sensitive to performance. You also see Samsung and Huawei phones in Asia tend to have more RAM than U.S. models.
Intel chips are more expensive? I thought the opposite?

With CDMA/Qualcomm licensing and all
 

Starfyre

macrumors 68030
Nov 7, 2010
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970
I remember those benchmark results showing how the "Intel" outperformed the Qualcomm, which did not match up with my testing. Looks like they were wrong and must have been paid by Intel or something. This is why I did my own tests shortly after the phone was released. Would have been nice to see this article posted early on so I wouldn't have to go through the hassle testing on my own.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/starfyres-t-mobile-at-t-intel-vs-verizon-qualcomm-iphone-x-benchmarks-for-gsm-users.2084875/

I am glad those who stumbled across my post benefited from my testing however. :)

"Cellular Insights said the difference is most noticeable in very weak signal conditions, in which the iPhone X with a Qualcomm modem experienced 67 percent faster LTE download speeds on average compared to the Intel model."
 

timeconsumer

macrumors 68000
Aug 1, 2008
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Portland
Is that just throttling of throughput though, or a throttling of RF?
The article states that 4x4 MIMO is disabled and hints that maybe they disabled other stuff as well but used 4x4 MIMO as the specific example. According to Qualcomm here's what 4x4 MIMO does:

"4x4 MIMO improves operator spectrum efficiency and boosts the data rate for Gigabit LTE devices. Whereas carrier aggregation widens the network highway, 4x4 MIMO adds up to two more layers of data lanes on top of the existing ones to carry more data on the same amount of spectrum."

https://www.qualcomm.com/news/onq/2017/09/07/pumping-network-speed-and-capacity-gigabit-lte
 

itsmilo

macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2016
2,632
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Europe
i often notice that my iPhone remains on Edge even if LTE is already available. I need to put it into airplane mode and back out for it to finally sign into LTE. super annoying
 

rugmankc

Contributor
Sep 24, 2014
2,137
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View attachment 739634 Interesting. When selecting Verizon as my carrier, I get presented with this. I didn't see this option before on Apple.com.

Has this option always been there? If not, then this is the SIM free version, available now. Seems like you don't need a Verizon account. Can anyone confirm?
It is not the Sim Free version. Option has been there for awhile. It is Verizon model. Apples Sim Free is not on website yet. I think they are still same iPhones.
 
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brian3uk

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2016
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View attachment 739634 Interesting. When selecting Verizon as my carrier, I get presented with this. I didn't see this option before on Apple.com.

Has this option always been there? If not, then this is the SIM free version, available now. Seems like you don't need a Verizon account. Can anyone confirm?
They added that option shortly before Black Friday, I assume so people can buy them as gifts. It's the same as the sim free will be. I bought a Verizon model to use on T-mobile with in store pickup. Unfortunately the OLED was a mess and I have since returned it and now aren't sure what I want to do.
 
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BaltimoreMediaBlog

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2015
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DC / Baltimore / Northeast
I'm reading these comments and there's lots of good advice on how to get which modem and all, but the other comments about the screens makes me think...

Who the hell would pay $1000+ to participate in a "screen lottery"?

Is this Apple's version of the famous email that you've won the Irish Lottery? :D
 
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thadoggfather

macrumors G4
Oct 1, 2007
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I'm reading these comments and there's lots of good advice on how to get which modem and all, but the other comments about the screens makes me think...

Who the hell would pay $1000+ to participate in a "screen lottery"?

Is this Apple's version of the famous email that you've won the Irish Lottery? :D
Lots of people !

It’s always a lottery
 

deanthedev

Suspended
Sep 29, 2017
1,289
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Vancouver
wonder if qualcomm paid them.
This. I actually know a cellular radio engineer at Apple. I asked him about these guys way back when they first posted their article comparing the iPhone 7 with Qualcomm
and Intel modems.

In typical Apple fashion he wouldn't tell me anything about what goes on inside Apple (though I always ask him to see if he drops any clues). He did say one thing that stuck out, though. How does an unknown blogger get ahold of half a million dollars in cellular test equipment?
 

thadoggfather

macrumors G4
Oct 1, 2007
10,849
7,719
This. I actually know a cellular radio engineer at Apple. I asked him about these guys way back when they first posted their article comparing the iPhone 7 with Qualcomm
and Intel modems.

In typical Apple fashion he wouldn't tell me anything about what goes on inside Apple (though I always ask him to see if he drops any clues). He did say one thing that stuck out, though. How does an unknown blogger get ahold of half a million dollars in cellular test equipment?
That half a mill SO worth it tho for the street cred :D
 

newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,323
2,317
East of Eden
View attachment 739634 Interesting. When selecting Verizon as my carrier, I get presented with this. I didn't see this option before on Apple.com.

Has this option always been there? If not, then this is the SIM free version, available now. Seems like you don't need a Verizon account. Can anyone confirm?
I can't say "always," but it has been there for a month or so at least. That's how I bought my phone (I'm VZW, but wanted to set it up myself later).
 
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kdarling

macrumors P6
American consumers are less sensitive to cellular performance. Intel chips are cheaper.

In China for example, all iPhone X are Qualcomm. No model lottery because the users are more sensitive to performance.
Intel chips are more expensive? I thought the opposite?
JPack is thinking the same as you, that Intel chips are cheaper.

With CDMA/Qualcomm licensing and all
Qualcomm charges the same royalty rate no matter what protocols are used (which is a bone of contention right now), and it's priced by factory phone price, not by the chip.

So a phone maker is free to buy cheaper chips if they want. It doesn't change the phone royalty much unless the chip is multiple tens of dollars cheaper and really lowers the factory phone price.
 
Last edited:

Gregg Thurman

macrumors member
Aug 24, 2009
47
29
Cellular Insights were on Qualcomm‘s payroll last year and faked test results that made Qualcomm look good and made Intel look bad by using configurations that do not exist in the real world. Why should anything about that change this year? I am sure Qualcomm pays quite well for these results.

And after all, the equipment you need for these kinds of tests is so expensive that a niche website like that couldn‘t get it from ad revenue alone.
I don't know anything about that (although I wouldn't be surprised). But everyone should take into consideration that these are LAB tests. Real world results are always different.

Further, I highly doubt the differences between Intel and Qualcomm are so great as to be noticeable in the real world. That wouldn't be like Apple at all.
 
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