Intel’s LTE Modems in iPhone XS/XS Max Unable to Match Qualcomm Speeds

Looking at some exclusive new data from Cellular Insights and Ookla Speedtest, it is quite evident that LTE download speeds on the iPhone XS and XS Max are a massive improvement when compared to the iPhone X. However, they are unable to match the Qualcomm X20 modem’s performance found in the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (via PC Magazine).

Xs max

Intel’s XMM7560 modem found in the iPhone XS and XS Max is the company’s first modem to support all four US wireless carriers, allowing Apple to ditch Qualcomm for its latest iPhones. 

In order to compare the hardware capabilities of the two modems, some advanced Rohde & Schwarz measurement equipment was used for in-lab testing whereas the week of September 24, 2018, from Ookla’s massive crowdsourced Speedtest Intelligence database was used for real-world results.

We compared the US model of the iPhone XS Max with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, last year’s Intel-powered model of the iPhone X, and the Google Pixel 2. The iPhone XS shows, on average, 6.6Mbps faster download speeds on all US carriers than the iPhone X, according to Speedtest Intelligence. In Canada, that difference jumps to a massive 20.2Mbps.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 with its Qualcomm X20 modem still performs a little better than the iPhone XS in the US and Canada. In the US, the Galaxy Note 9 shows mean LTE download speeds of 43.2Mbps to the iPhone’s 38.9Mbps for the week of September 24. In Canada, the Galaxy Note 9 shows speeds of 97.7Mbps to the iPhone XS’s 85.4Mbps.

It must also be pointed out that even though the first versions of the iPhone XS firmware may, in some places, be causing trouble with signal reception, no issues of any sort were found in the hardware that would explain negative experiences.