Intel to reportedly supply LTE chips for 2016 iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2015
Apple will reportedly turn to Intel's new XMM 7360 LTE modem when it launches a special next-generation iPhone model in 2016, suggesting the company is looking to diversify baseband chip suppliers.




Intel's fast wireless modem, which debuted earlier this month at Mobile World Congress, will be used in an upcoming iPhone variant targeted for release in emerging markets like Asia and Latin America, reports VentureBeat.

The report claims Apple engineers have been traveling "for months" to Intel's LTE chip research and development offices in Munich, Germany to work on the project. Intel acquired the facility when it purchased Infineon for $1.4 billion in 2010.

Apple tapped Infineon to provide chipsets for the original iPhone introduced in 2007, and continued to source silicon from the firm until it was bought out by Intel. Apple has since relied on wireless chips from Qualcomm, but the publication's sources said Apple has an "uneasy" relationship with the company.

Although Intel is a major supplier for Apple's Mac range of products, it passed on the opportunity to get in on iPhone at the ground floor. Tension between the two companies mounted as the chipmaker continued to push its Atom processors in products competing against iPhone and iPad, which are powered by Apple's ARM-based A-series silicon.

In a brief detailing the XMM 7360, Intel notes key features include LTE-FDD/TDD up to 450 Mbps, LTE Advanced up to Category 10, Voice over LTE, 3X carrier aggregation and the usual smattering of worldwide band support. Notably, the chip is compatible with TD-SCDMA, a unique wireless standard used by China Mobile.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    xixoxixo Posts: 430member
    "Tension between the two companies mounted as the chipmaker continued to push its Atom processors in products competing against iPhone and iPad, which are powered by Apple's ARM-based A-series silicon."

    Tension? hardly... it's just business.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    xixo wrote: »
    "Tension between the two companies mounted as the chipmaker continued to push its Atom processors in products competing against iPhone and iPad, which are powered by Apple's ARM-based A-series silicon."

    Tension? hardly... it's just business.

    I don't get it either. I could see ARM and Intel having tension for that space, but Apple and Intel should have none since Apple uses their own chips. There is absolutely nothing to discuss on that level. If there is tension with Intel and Apple isn't over the possibility that Apple could start offering their A-series chips in the lower-end Macs.
  • Reply 3 of 14
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,545member
    I doubt Apple will create a sku for certain countries that use a totally different chip than the skus for the rest of the world. I realize Apple has a few different versions of the iPhone to deal with different radio schemes (for example, China), but do those versions use totally different chips or just different firmware with the same chip, or a variant of the same chip made for those regions?
  • Reply 4 of 14

    Apple tapped Infineon to provide chipsets for the original iPhone introduced in 2007, and continued to source silicon from the firm until it was bought out by Intel. Apple has since relied on wireless chips from Qualcomm, but the publication's sources said Apple has an "uneasy" relationship with the company.

     

    Intel getting back into any iDevice should only be allowed as long as Intel is not using any technology licensed from Samsung. Samsung was nearly successful at having iPhones that used the Infineon chip banned from being imported into the USA.

     

    "Uneasy" relationship with Qualcomm? Really? So switching back to Intel from Qualcomm is that much better? Intel must be offering a substantial discount on chip licensing fees for Apple to leave Qualcomm. IMHO.

  • Reply 5 of 14
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,610member
    Not a good news for Qualcomm.
  • Reply 6 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wood1208 View Post



    Not a good news for Qualcomm.



    I don't know about that.  The CEO of Cyanogen is supposedly trying to take over Android with Qualcomm chips running Cyanogen OS.  McMaster was bragging about how much more business he was going to bring to Qualcomm.  The way the Cynogen CEO spoke it seemed as though his hardware of choice was Qualcomm and he was talking about hundreds of millions of new smartphones and tablets.  I doubt Qualcomm cares who brings them more business as long as the numbers are large.

  • Reply 7 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Steffen Jobbs View Post

     



    I don't know about that.  The CEO of Cyanogen is supposedly trying to take over Android with Qualcomm chips running Cyanogen OS.  McMaster was bragging about how much more business he was going to bring to Qualcomm.  The way the Cynogen CEO spoke it seemed as though his hardware of choice was Qualcomm and he was talking about hundreds of millions of new smartphones and tablets.  I doubt Qualcomm cares who brings them more business as long as the numbers are large.




    Hundreds of millions of new smartphones and tablets? Really? No Android manufacturer is selling smartphones and tablets in that quantity. Heck, Apple sold just under 200 million iPhones in 2014. I do not recall the number of iPads sold in 2014, but I do not think it was 100 million. In my opinion, you might consider taking the Cyanogen CEO's enthusiasm as bluster.

  • Reply 8 of 14
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,610member
    Enthusiasm has no boundary or fact or reality. I can say within 10 years I see human to land on Mars. Will it happen ? My Enthusiasm says it will which has theoretical but no factual support. Always read such things with lots(not grain) of salt.
  • Reply 9 of 14
    formosaformosa Posts: 261member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wood1208 View Post



    Not a good news for Qualcomm.

     

    I agree. I also think this isn't good news long-term for Intel. Based on rumblings here (such as a DED article a while back) and the wild success of the A-series chips, I now wouldn't be surprised if Apple releases their own baseband chip in the future. Apple is just "renting" this space to Intel temporarily, probably due to cost.

  • Reply 10 of 14
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

     

    "Uneasy" relationship with Qualcomm? Really? So switching back to Intel from Qualcomm is that much better? Intel must be offering a substantial discount on chip licensing fees for Apple to leave Qualcomm. IMHO.


     

    Qualcomm is the only company which makes viable CDMA chipsets (In the entire history of the system, the only widely sold third-party chipset was Nokia's in-house voice-only design, circa 2003). With Verizon support, Apple (along with other handset makers) have no choice, and Qualcomm knows that. With Verizon deploying VoLTE, the market's once again open.

  • Reply 11 of 14
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,895member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wood1208 View Post



    Not a good news for Qualcomm.



    I should've sold my QCOM when it was at $80.

  • Reply 12 of 14
    If tension mounted it was because Intel published reference guides so OEMs could copy the MacBook Air.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    mj webmj web Posts: 918member
    The Intel/Apple partnership seems to be trending in the opposite direction of DED's hypothesis. It's also rumored the iPad Pro will be powered by an Intel chip. Oh well, supposition can be tricky.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    mj web wrote: »
    The Intel/Apple partnership seems to be trending in the opposite direction of DED's hypothesis. It's also rumored the iPad Pro will be powered by an Intel chip. Oh well, supposition can be tricky.



    If that's the case then I'd say it's doubtful there will be ARM-based entry level Macs.
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