More than ever, Intel is a very important partner for Apple and the iPhone. It’s being asked to supply around 70% of the modems inside the 2018 models set to be released this fall, according to Fast Company. While there will continue to be a split in who’s providing modems for the iPhone, Apple is reportedly prepared to go all-in on Intel by next year.
Apple brought Intel on as a supplier in 2016 when the iPhone 7 was released. Prior to that, it was Qualcomm who gave the iPhone all the modems it needed. But the relationship between Apple and Qualcomm has been strained since the chipmaker filed several lawsuits over patent infringement.
The easy way out, of course, is to ditch Qualcomm and find a new supplier. Apple, based on this report, is doing just that by handing off all orders to Intel in 2019.
Intel wanted to receive the entire order in 2018, but this is the first year it’s building modems using the 14 nanometer process. So it’s wise for Apple to keep Qualcomm as an experienced backup. If things don’t go well for Intel, Qualcomm can easily step in without delays hitting the new iPhone models.
Production on the modems will be in full force this summer. Although Intel is currently experiencing some issues that are preventing all units from being satisfactory, the report says its engineers are “confident they can work the bugs out” before Apple needs every ready for a public launch and release. As we saw with the iPhone X, delays for the iPhone aren’t out of the question.