Bloomberg: Intel cellular modems will be reserved for AT&T iPhone 7 models

By , Jun 10, 2016

Intel logo (blue, white background, full-size)

Supply chain whispers recently claimed that a significant portion of LTE cellular modems for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus would be built by Intel instead of Qualcomm and now Bloomberg is reporting that Intel modems will be actually reserved for AT&T iPhone 7 models.

Qualcomm is expected to remain Apple’s modem provider for Verizon and China-bound iPhone 7 handsets. Qualcomm’s boss had said he expected a major customer to diversify its supplier base.

“While Qualcomm is losing some orders, it’s retaining a major chunk of Apple’s business, offsetting concern that one of its largest customers would drop it completely,” said people familiar with the matter.

Qualcomm gets an estimated $15 per phone from Apple, or about $3.47 billion in Apple’s fiscal 2015.

Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon cautioned that Qualcomm’s modems “remain ahead of Intel’s offerings in performance” when measured by how much data they can get from the network into the phone.

Qualcomm is currently the only provider of the iPhone’s baseband processor that connects it to cellular networks and converts radio signals into voice and data. The original iPhone ran a modem chip by Infineon Technologies AG, but their wireless division was later acquired by Intel, prompting Apple to choose Qualcomm for subsequent versions of the iPhone.

This has resulted in Intel failing to put its modem chip in any smartphone that has sold in significant numbers so this would be a major win for them.

Source: Bloomberg

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  • I guess no modem for T-mobile.

    • Gregg

      “No modem for you!”

  • 5723alex .

    So, AT&T will get Intel, Verizon and China will get Qualcomm and the rest of the world won’t need modems at all.

    • Liam J. Kowalski

      We’ll commivate via smoke signals.

      • 5723alex .

        And to get those smoke signals Microsoft will supply Apple with the still glowing ashes of the Zune, Kin, Band, WindowsPhone, Surface.. and ashes of $18B burned so far in its mobile fiasco.

      • John Kurokawa

        Don’t forget, Intel has been supplying CPUs for MacBooks for years. Intel is not Microsoft.

      • Liam J. Kowalski

        While I wouldn’t say that Surface has failed, it sure didn’t meet Microsoft’s expectations. But all in all, I like your idea. The ashes should supply enough smoke to communicate until the next S-cycle.