Since iPhone 7, Apple has shared baseband chip orders for iPhones with Qualcomm and Intel. For the 2018 iPhones, KGI reports that Apple is set to rely on Intel as the exclusive supplier, amidst Apple’s ongoing legal battles with Qualcomm. KGI says Intel can meet Apple’s technical requirements and offers more competitive prices.
In a report obtained by 9to5Mac, KGI Securities’ respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reveals Apple will drop Qualcomm baseband chips from future iPhones and source them exclusively from Intel. The move comes as legal action intensifies between Apple and Qualcomm with billions of dollars at stake.
What does the report say?
According to KGI “Apple will improve LTE transmission speeds significantly by supporting 4×4 MIMO chipsets. At the time, Ming-Chi Kuo believed Apple would give about 30% of the orders to Qualcomm.”
He is now claiming that “Qualcomm will be excluded from 2018 iPhones altogether.” However, KGI does not rule out Qualcomm returning to the supply chain, perhaps as concessions in the patent lawsuit settlement.
KGI says there’s also a risk that Intel may not be ready for 5G networking as quickly as Qualcomm, which may also force Apple’s hand.
Once again, KGI says “Intel’s chip will support dual SIM and dual standby. However, there are no direct claims that Apple will make an iPhone model with two physical SIM slots.“
But until then Apple looks set to play hardball and it is iPhone customers who stand to lose most in the short-term. Furthermore, with 2018 iPhones expected to cost up to $1,400, any form of compromise is unlikely to meet a warm welcome.