Intel’s mobile modems have scored it first big customer in the form of the next generation of Apple iPhones. A report from Bloomberg indicates that the next iPhone will be built using both Intel and Qualcomm components – depending on location – as Apple looks to diversify its suppliers.
While it is big news for Intel, the number of modems supplied looks to be rather limited compared to what Qualcomm is providing. Qualcomm has been said to be providing the modems for iPhones sold in China, which is a critical market for the future growth of Apple’s iPhones.
While this is exciting news for the future of Intel’s components business, it may not be as interesting for the average user. Analysts claims that Intel’s modem is less efficient at converting signals than Qualcomm’s; reducing the the amount of data it can pull from the network at any given time.
Modem performance is unlikely to be the reason Apple has made the decision to add an extra supplier. The company has been known to negotiate for the best possible price for just about everything on the iPhone. Adding two supplier would provide it with additional leverage during price talks with both Qualcomm and Intel, allowing it to reduce costs even more.