Qualcomm Expects Apple to 'Solely' Use Intel Modems for 2018 iPhones

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Apple does not have plans to use Qualcomm's LTE chips in its next-generation devices, Qualcomm's CFO said today during Qualcomm's second quarter earnings call.

As relayed by CNBC, Qualcomm CFO George Davis told investors Apple will use a competitor's chips in its 2018 iPhones, likely speaking of Intel.

"We believe Apple intends to solely use our competitors' modems rather than our modems in its next iPhone release. We will continue to provide modems for Apple legacy devices," said Davis.


Over the course of the last few months, there have been mixed reports about Apple's LTE chip plans given the legal disagreement between the two companies. Respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in February that Intel would be the supplier of LTE modems for all 2018 iPhones, with Apple using no Qualcomm chips.

Kuo's report was called into question in April when Fast Company said that Intel would supply Apple with 70 percent of the LTE chips needed for the 2018 iPhones while Qualcomm would provide the rest, but it appears that report was inaccurate.

Qualcomm's statement today is also in line with an October report from The Wall Street Journal suggesting Apple would eliminate Qualcomm chips from its 2018 iPhone and iPad lineup, instead using chips from Intel and perhaps MediaTek.

Apple's decision not to use Qualcomm chips in its latest crop of iPhones is understandable given the increasingly bitter legal battle the two companies have been embroiled in for more than a year.

Apple in January 2017 sued Qualcomm for $1 billion, accusing Qualcomm of charging unfair royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with" and failing to pay quarterly rebates. Apple and its suppliers stopped paying licensing fees at that time.

While Apple insists Qualcomm charges unfair royalties, Qualcomm claims that its technology "is at the heart of every iPhone."

It didn't take long for Qualcomm to file a countersuit claiming that Apple had infringed on several of its patents. Since then, both companies have filed multiple lawsuits against one another, and Qualcomm has also sought import and export bans on some iPhones in the United States and China.

Apple has used Qualcomm chips in its iPhones for years, but until the legal dispute is resolved, the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus could be the last iPhones with Qualcomm chips.

Apple is rumored to be working on its own Apple-designed modem chips for future iPhones, but until its own technology is ready, Apple devices may be equipped with Intel technology.

Rumors suggest that Apple's 2018 iPhones will use Intel's XMM 7560 modems, which support both GSM and CDMA networks. Apple is said to be planning to introduce improved antenna technology for faster connection speeds and dual-SIM dual standby functionality.

Qualcomm today reported better-than-expected quarterly results with $5.6 billion in revenue and earnings of $1.01 per share. Qualcomm saw "strong demand" from Chinese device makers amid "lower demand" from Apple.

Article Link: Qualcomm Expects Apple to 'Solely' Use Intel Modems for 2018 iPhones
 

rjohnstone

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Dec 28, 2007
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Qualcomm will still make money from the patent licenses. No, they won't make as much as they did before, but there will still be a revenue stream from iPhones.
 
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aka777

macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2012
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Good, will end the Intel v. Qualcomm debate.
Nothing "good" about this. Apple has just decided to go with the inferior infineon/intel wireless chipset, basically out of spite.

Also, if you are going to price a phone at $1k, you better be putting in components that are worth $1k. I don’t only need a fast CPU today, as its a phone and not the 90s. The GPU, the 'wireless' chipsets / cellular speeds, battery life, and the signal strength (antenna design) are more important features of a phone.

This sort of hubris crap is the one thing I really cannot stand about apple. It's the same deal with using year old CPUs for their Mac lineups, even when the gen 9 Intel cpus are just around the corner.

Much like most of the Bay Area, Apple seems to be confusing their luck of being at the right place at the right time (i.e. iPhone 1) with some sort of ingenious success.
 
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macduke

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Jun 27, 2007
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I haven't noticed any real-world improvements over the years in the speed of my LTE modems. The iPhone 5 was the first generation to have one and it was okay. Newer modems have added newer bands which helps with building penetration. But when it comes to average speed, my iPhone 5 would get 20-40Mbps. My iPhone 6 Plus got 20-40Mbps. My iPhone 6s got 20-40Mbps. My iPhone 7 got 20-40Mbps. My iPhone X gets 20-40Mbps. And my iPhone X2 whatever will get 20-40Mbps. It's not until 5G is widely available that speeds will improve by a meaningful amount. And that might be precisely where Qualcomm will have an edge. We'll see. For now Apple is putting the hurt on them. Hopefully Apple is working on developing their own modems—but the problem is all the patents surrounding this "standard" technology.
 
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ksec

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Dec 23, 2015
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Intel's modems are a half generation behind Qualcomm, but with Gigabit LTE and 4x4 MIMO on the current products, they're extremely competitive. Intel is about a year behind Qualcomm in terms of 5G, but Apple doesn't need to adopt the bleeding edge modems.
it will be likely be the Intel 7560 modem, which is equal or better then the X20 / Snapdragon 845 the article quoted. And given there isn't yet 7nm modem or Snapdragon SoC yet, the Intel 14nm 7560 modem will also likely be the most advance on the market when it launch. Which is the first time iPhone has had leading mobile modem technology ahead of others.

I really hope Intel don't mess this up.
 
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Craiger

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Jul 11, 2007
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Article says 7580 modem, but isn’t it the 7560 from intel? Is there a newer one?
 

heov

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Aug 16, 2002
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Do what you gotta do, Apple, to stay the most profitable company. If you can get a better deal on chips, even at the cost of a few Mbps, we will still pay you top dollar as if they were the best available. We'll let you keep the change, Apple.

Be sure to sue them out the door on their prized wireless technical patents, and be sure to protect your rounded corners (or whatever) and rubber band effect patemts
 
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TimmeyCook

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Jun 20, 2018
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Took this at a crowded mall



So... how did I do this? It's several times faster than the speeds that Qualcomm touts... and it's a Qualcomm modem...

Can't blame Apple for this since Qualcomm is in a legal battle with Apple get them we're it hurts Apple.
Where it hurts?

Do you realize that Qualcomm's business model for modems is to get a percentage from the retail price?

Do you realize that Apple's phones sell at an average that's several times greater than the average Android?

This is really going to hurt Qualcomm, let's see where the "innovation" goes when the money goes...
 

JPack

macrumors 603
Mar 27, 2017
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Took this at a crowded mall



So... how did I do this? It's several times faster than the speeds that Qualcomm touts... and it's a Qualcomm modem...
Qualcomm is quoting average speed test results in Ookla.

The Qualcomm MDM9635 modem in iPhone 6s already supports up to 300 Mbps.