Intel could stand to break Qualcomm’s hold on iPhone modem supply this year. According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the semiconductor maker could end up being the exclusive supplier for the iPhone in 2018.
There are a couple of reasons for Kuo’s rather extreme expectations of Cupertino. Firstly, Intel’s new XMM 7560 modem supports both GSM and CDMA; past models only supported GSM connections. Support for both networks would now allow Intel to properly cater to what Apple needs for the global market.
Secondly, Apple and Qualcomm are in the middle of a heated disagreement about patent licensing. Cupertino has been accusing Qualcomm of using its position to extract unfavourable licensing terms; particular with the agreement preventing Apple from even talking to other manufacturers. The court battle has been going on for several months now, and it doesn’t look like there will be a conclusion in 2018.
Kuo does not believe that the exclusivity arrangement – if it happens – will last for very long. Apple likes to maintain a diverse supply chain (which is why it’s chafing under the agreement with Qualcomm). If anything, this could simply be used as a bargaining chip for future contracts.
Intel is no stranger to supplying iPhones with modems; it’s already one of Apple’s suppliers. Albeit on a much smaller scale than Qualcomm. This is a chance for the company to make up ground in the mobile cellular modem market; something it has been failing to achieve.
[Source: Mac Rumors]