Despite bad blood between the two, it looks like Apple will still be needing Qualcomm’s modem chips for its 2018 batch of iPhones. According to Fast Company, the Cupertino company will still need Qualcomm’s help to provide 30% of its modem chips needs, while Intel will cover the majority 70%.
The arrangement may seem a bit odd to the passer-by, but there is a reason why Apple isn’t working exclusively with Intel just yet. As it stands, Intel is currently fabricating its own modem chips based on the 14nm die lithography. Before that, the company was heavily dependent on TSMC as its main provider wafer chips.
In this case, Apple is basically just playing the “wait and see” game with Intel; if the latter manages to fulfill the former’s orders of modem for this year, then it’s almost a certainty that Apple will go exclusive with Intel. Having said that, it should be pointed out that Intel yield rates aren’t currently what it expected; only half of the chips made so far are consumer-ready.
But, Intel has implied that it is aware of the issue and that it would be sorted out before they ramp up its production schedule come June or July this year. Until, it’s nice to see that both Apple and Qualcomm being pragmatic about the scenario.