KGI: Intel could be the exclusive LTE modem supplier for 2018 iPhones

06 February, 2018, 15:29 | Author: Larry Hoffman
  • 2018 iPhones to rely solely on Intel baseband chips, KGI claims

As of now, the renowned analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI securities has once again made some interesting predictions saying that "Apple's 6.1-inch LCD model could reshape sentiment in 2018".

However, even during their exclusive deal with Qualcomm, internal documents indicated Apple was already looking for ways to source a portion of their chips from Intel to diversify their supply chain, suggesting this potential supplier swap has been in the works for a while. For the 2018 devices, the company is set to rely on Intel as the exclusive supplier, saying that it can meet the Cupertino-based company's technical requirements and offers more competitive prices.

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Kuo said in a research note to investors that Qualcomm would "not have a share of the orders at all". Second, the move would put pressure on Qualcomm and help Apple in its heated legal battle with the company over licensing and patent infringement. Now Kuo believes Intel will supply all the modems Apple requires, pushing Qualcomm out completely. The analyst also believes all 2018 iPhones will feature logic boards, first seen on the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, while the 6.1-inch variant will make do with the conventional single-layer layout. The Intel XMM 7560 modem includes support for GSM and CDMA, which allows the same modem chip to be used for iPhones on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

That may be so, but the fact is demand for iPhone X cooled quickly before Christmas, as several market observers have pointed out. In tests performed by Cellular Insights, the iPhone 7 Plus using the Qualcomm modem "had a significant performance edge over the iPhone 7 Plus with the Intel modem". If you want to manufacture a phone that has the ability to send and receive data or one capable of a high-speed internet connection, you more than likely have to get a license from Qualcomm. The news however, is a blow to Qualcomm, which for a while enjoyed exclusivity with Apple. This could also happen as Intel might not be ready for the 5G wave on time.

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The immediate impact of Apple's supposed shift from Qualcomm to Intel was felt by all three players at the close of business on Monday.

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