Intel will reportedly supply modems for some variants of the iPhone 7, breaking Qualcomm’s dominance
Intel has reportedly won its first contact to supply components for an iPhone, having been frozen out by other manufacturers ever since the first model was released in 2007.
According to Bloomberg, Intel will supply modems for some editions of the next iPhone, due to be launched later this year.
Qualcomm is the current supplier of modems for the iPhone having won the business from Infineon. Ironically, Intel actually acquired Infineon’s wireless business before the contract was lost. The last device to include an Infineon baseband chip was the iPhone 4.
Apple Intel chips
Intel modems will be used in the version of the iPhone provided to US operator AT&T and some other markets, but the bulk of the businesses will reportedly remain Qualcomm’s – including the lucrative Chinese market.
However contract win would be a major boost for Intel’s mobile business which has struggled to make any meaningful impact on the market. Its Atom processor platform failed to steal any significant business away from manufacturers of ARM-based chips.
Earlier this year it admitted defeat, cancelling all mobile and tablet processor projects despite investing billions of pounds in R&D.
“Intel does not comment on rumour and speculation,” a company spokesperson told TechWeekEurope, while Apple had not responded to requests for comment at the time of publication.
Its attempts to diversify its supply chain will reduce its exposure to component shortages and give it a stronger hand in negotiations. The downside is that many observers consider Qualcomm’s equipment to be superior.
Apple has diversified before, most notably with manufacturers of its A9 chip. Reports claimed that versions of the device containing a Samsung-made version can offer up to two hours of battery life more than those powered by the version made by TSMC.
Do you know all about Intel? Take our quiz!