Apple will continue to dual-source cellular modems for 2018 iPhones from chip makers Intel and Qualcomm, with the updated pre-5G baseband chips enabling faster LTE speeds.

That’s according to revered Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who wrote in a note to clients Friday that Intel will be Apple’s main supplier providing 70%-80% of baseband modems for the upcoming iPhone models.

The analyst explains that Intel’s XMM 7560 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X20 modems support 4×4 MIMO technology. Given that current iPhones are limited to 2×2 MIMO antenna design (via Intel’s XMM 7480 and Qualcomm’s MDM 9655 chipsets), Kuo speculates that 2018 iPhones will feature significantly faster LTE transmission speeds.

He also mentions that Apple has been developing its own baseband chip in an effort to further reduce bill of material and cut down the number of chips on the logic board.

The research note states that next year’s iPhone models might also have dual-SIM support, which would be a first as no iPhones to date have had this feature. Dual-SIM support would apparently include features like dual standby and LTE+LTE connections, which allows two SIM cards to be active simultaneously using only one set of chips.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that 2018 iPhones will accept two SIM cards because one of them could use the latest embedded SIM (eSIM) format.

Have you ever needed a dual-SIM iPhone?

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