After years of rumours claiming Intel would participate in the iPhone supply chain, here is the most recent: According to a CLSA Securities analysts, Intel will be responsible for delivering a “significant portion” of the LTE modems on the iPhone 7, NDTV reports.
The move comes as Apple aims to temporarily reduce its reliance on Qualcomm, which has been supplying such modems for iOS devices.
Citing “Asian supply chain checks” CLSA analyst Srini Pajjuri claims Intel has secured roughly 30%–40% of the iPhone 7’s LTE modems, which will obviously affect Qualcomm’s business. The analyst believes Intel’s contract with Apple will have a 4% negative impact on Qualcomm’s revenue and 2% on earnings. As for Intel, the new orders mean an up to 2% increase in revenue and earnings.
In a rather interesting move, the contract seems to be only for this specific model, as the analyst claims Apple will switch back to Qualcomm next year.
While Apple is looking to cut some reliance on Qualcomm, the company doesn’t plan to completely turn away from the chipmaker. On the contrary, the analyst believes that the company will “share shift back” to Qualcomm in 2017.
The analyst’s note to investors follows up on an earlier VentureBeat report claiming that Intel had an army of employees working on chips for the iPhone, as Apple will likely use its XMM 7360 LTE modem capable of download speeds of 450 Mbps and upload of 100 Mbps. The report also claimed that Apple considered Intel for manufacturing the Ax series system on a chip as well.
On the other hand, Qualcomm’s MDM9645 chip supports 600 Mbps download and 150 Mbps upload speeds. Now, it remains to be seen which category 10 LTE modem Apple will choose for the iPhone 7.