Intel could be replacing Qualcomm as a key supplier for Apple’s next iPhone models. Apple would like to go all-in on a partnership with Intel as the company is promising to meet technical requirements while offering competitive prices, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
The mobile industry has often looked to Qualcomm for modems that feature strong and fast connections to cellular networks, but the iPhone lineup in 2018 might not feature any of its components. The report suggests Apple is very satisfied with Intel’s proposition so much that Qualcomm could be replaced entirely. Since the iPhone 7, Apple’s split business between the two suppliers to get modems for its products.
Last year it was reported that Intel was working on an upgraded antenna design to make new iPhone models ship with blazing-fast data speeds. It’s actually a priority to implement this technology across all of Apple’s products due to be upgraded in 2018.
There’s a possibility, though, that Apple will continue working with both companies. Apple and Qualcomm have been engaged in a lawsuit involving unpaid royalties, and threatening to pull the plug on a partnership might be enough to settle the matter. The iPhone is the world’s most popular phone, so it’d be wise for Qualcomm to remain on Apple’s good side.
If Apple does keep Qualcomm on-board, it could be because Intel isn’t ready for 5G connectivity. Qualcomm’s experience should allow for them to have 5G-ready modems available quicker than most.