Apple Reportedly Chooses Intel Modem Chips to Use in Future iPhones

Bloomberg reports Intel has reportedly landed its first mobile win, by securing a modem chip order from Apple, to use in future versions of the iPhone:

Apple has chosen Intel modem chips for the iPhone used on AT&T Inc.’s U.S. network and some other versions of the smartphone for overseas markets, said people familiar with the matter.

Verizon iPhone models will continue to use modem chips from Qualcomm, the only supplier of modem chips for Apple’s smartphone. Qualcomm can rest easy as sources claim iPhone models in China will continue to utilize their chips.

Infineon Technologies AG was the original modem chip supplier for Apple’s first iPhone in 2007. Intel eventually acquired Infineon’s wireless division, but lost the contract to Qualcomm for later iPhones, as the latter’s chips offered higher data speeds.

The reported news is seen as a positive sign for Intel, as the company has failed to gain smartphone traction with less than 1 percent marketshare.

The news of Apple considering Intel for some modem chips may have been foreshadowed by Qualcomm Chief Executive Officer Steve Mollenkopf, when he mentioned to analysts on an earnings call in April a major customer was expected to switch to numerous suppliers. With Samsung being one of Qualcomm’s major customers and already using multiple component suppliers for their smartphones, the hint was Apple would be the customer set to diversify.

Rumours of Intel supplying modem chips for iPhone 7 have been in the works since last October, when Venture Beat claimed Intel had an army of 1,000 employees working on a chip to win a contract with Apple. Similar reports earlier this year claimed Intel would land 40% of iPhone 7 modem orders, with recent rumours citing numbers as high as 50% of orders.