Apple might be ending its partnership with Intel for the production of modem chips, and source them out from another company for all its future iPhone. Specifically, Apple might be giving its modem business to the Taiwanese semiconductor maker, MediaTek.
The rumour first popped up in an investor’s note that was provided to Bloomberg by Northland Securities analyst, Gus Richard. It should be pointed out that the note itself carried very little detail, and the authenticity of this rumour has yet to be verified. If this rumour does ring true, it wouldn’t be the first time time that Apple has done something like this.
Prior to Intel, Apple’s primary modem chips supplier for its iPhones was Qualcomm for many years, but on-going lawsuits between the two giants could’ve been one of the many reasons behind Apple’s decision to minimise its dependency on Qualcomm’s modem chips, and opt for Intel’s instead.
Another reason for the switch is because Intel’s new XMM 7560 modem is capable of supporting both GSM and CDMA mobile standards. Having said that, it should be pointed out that Qualcomm is still providing Apple with 30% of its modem chips needs, while Intel will have to cover the remaining 70% for this year’s supply of iPhones.
Again, if the rumour does become reality, then MediaTek might only become Apple’s primary supplier of modem chips for its iPhones in 2019, seeing how deals for this year’s batch of iPhones have already been formalised with Intel.