AT&T & T-Mobile versions of iPhone 7 likely using Intel modem incompatible with Sprint & Verizon

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in iPhone
The iPhone 7 models Apple is selling for AT&T and T-Mobile customers don't support Sprint and Verizon, likely because some of them use an Intel modem that doesn't work with CDMA networks, a report noted on Friday.




Apple is probably trying to diversify its modem suppliers, resulting in the fractured model lineup, sources told Recode. By using multiple suppliers for a part, Apple can hold the upper hand in price negotiations and keep up its profits.

While Sprint and Verizon iPhones are thought to be using a Qualcomm modem capable of both GSM and CDMA connections, the AT&T and T-Mobile production run(s) may have a mix of Intel and Qualcomm chips, Recode suggested. To date, Qualcomm has been Apple's exclusive modem supplier.

Intel has been rumored as joining the iPhone supply chain in this manner for a while. The company's ambitions are thought to be even bigger though, such that it could start building A-series processors for Apple in 2018.

For customers the modem change is a step backwards. Americans buying the iPhone 6s, for example, are able to unlock the device and use it on any carrier in the country. There may be drawbacks for Apple as well, given the fact that it has to tailor its production, distribution, and inventory even more carefully than usual.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,678member
    I'm looking forward to the teardowns and performance reviews between the Intel and Qualcomm chips. Hopefully we'll be able to get power usage data, too.
  • Reply 2 of 41
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,076member
    if true it is similar to iPhone 6 and earlier where the iPhone 6 had separate versions for CDMA networks.  The 6S unified them. 
    repressthis
  • Reply 3 of 41
    So it appears that all iPhone 7's have GSM ( see:  http://www.apple.com/iphone/compare/ )

    That implies that an unlocked Verizon phone will have both GSM and CDMA, but an unlocked AT&T phone may have only GSM and no CDMA....

    Additional info from Apple:

    Are there differences between an iPhone for AT&T or T-Mobile and an iPhone for Sprint or Verizon Wireless?
    iPhone offers the same innovative features regardless of the wireless carrier you choose. If you choose AT&T or T-Mobile as your wireless carrier, your iPhone will use 3G cellular technology for voice services and either 3G or 4G LTE cellular technology for data services. iPhone can roam internationally on many GSM carriers around the world. If you buy iPhone with AT&T or T-Mobile, it will not work on Sprint or Verizon Wireless.

    If you choose Sprint or Verizon Wireless as your wireless carrier, your iPhone will use CDMA cellular technology for voice and data services. If you buy an unlocked iPhone with Verizon or Sprint, it will work on AT&T or T-Mobile. An iPhone activated on Sprint or Verizon Wireless also has the ability to roam internationally on GSM networks. For details on LTE network support, please see www.apple.com/iphone/LTE.
    edited September 2016 brian greenzoetmbstanthemanh2pjony0
  • Reply 4 of 41
    Model A1778* 
    Model A1784*

    Models A1778 and A1784 do not support CDMA networks, such as those used by Verizon and Sprint.

    Model A1660* 
    Model A1661*

    Support all networks!

    jony0
  • Reply 5 of 41
    As a T Mobile customer who is more than satisfied, I have no intention of ever using my phone with a CDMA network. 
    leviDeelron
  • Reply 6 of 41
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,492member
    A problem that only .0000000001% of the users will care about, and of course the fake "potential iPhone buyer" that will decide to go to Android because this is inexcusable.  

    Everyone else is just moving on.  People and journalists just trying to fabricate a conspiracy where this is none.
    nolamacguyiSRStallest skilDeelronGeorgeBMacredgeminipajony0
  • Reply 7 of 41
    pigybank said:
    As a T Mobile customer who is more than satisfied, I have no intention of ever using my phone with a CDMA network. 
    This is not about iPhone buyers wanting to use CDMA networks. It's all about the resale value of your phone when you're ready to upgrade. A phone that supports every network and frequency worldwide is infinitely more valuable than one that is built for a specific carrier in a specific country.
    mdriftmeyerrob53netroxh2pGeorgeBMacredgeminipapscooter63
  • Reply 8 of 41
    sflocal said:
    A problem that only .0000000001% of the users will care about ...
    The math needs work here. Assuming 7 billion people in the world, .0000000001% works out to only 7/1000 of one person. That or the iPhone market includes at least 142 aliens for every human customer.

    Apple shouldn't have done this. Both versions of the phone cost customers the same price. But those with Intel modems limit a customer's future choices, and their phones have less resale value. Apple should have insisted any alternate modem chip be comparable to the Qualcomm one.

    Soliasdasdstanthemanh2panton zuykovGeorgeBMacnetmagemr squid
  • Reply 9 of 41
    When I ordered my iPhone 7, I was paying in full. It said it is unlocked but I noticed it had "GSM Model" and today, I cancelled my order. I suspect that's the case. 

    Another factor that led me to cancel is when I saw SE model at Apple store while shopping, I realized how much I love the small factor size and decided that I'll just rather wait until the next generation of SE comes out. I no longer think iPhone 7 is a compelling upgrade for me. 





    edited September 2016 [Deleted User]
  • Reply 10 of 41
    Think the intel chipset will support T-Mobile 4x4 mimo?

    http://www.macrumors.com/2016/09/06/tmobile-4x4-mimo-faster-lte-speeds/

    edit darn looks like the Qualcomm one will but not the intel:

    Qualcomm's X12 modem, an appropriate candidate for iPhone 7, supports 4x4 MIMO, so it is possible that some models could benefit from the technology. However, Apple is expected to use Intel's XMM 7360 LTE modem for a portion of iPhone 7 models, including AT&T models, and 4x4 MIMO is not an advertised feature of that chipset. iPhone 6s and older models do not support 4x4 MIMO. 
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 11 of 41
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,678member
    Is this going to turn into #ModemGate?
    netroxanton zuykov
  • Reply 12 of 41
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    sflocal said:
    A problem that only .0000000001% of the users will care about, and of course the fake "potential iPhone buyer" that will decide to go to Android because this is inexcusable.  

    Everyone else is just moving on.  People and journalists just trying to fabricate a conspiracy where this is none.
    A vocal .000x1%
    h2p
  • Reply 13 of 41
    if you buy a phone that says its for AT&T, then theres no reason to bitch that future people who may or may not buy it from you might not be able to use it on another network. is it ideal that there are similar but different standards? of course not. is it worth bitching about as another way to troll apple? only if you're a sad, sad person. but we've seen a lot of that this week. pathetic losers.
    h2p
  • Reply 14 of 41
    Cellular and Wireless

    Model A1660* 
    Model A1661*
    FDD-LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30) 
    TD-LTE (Bands 38, 39, 40, 41) 
    TD-SCDMA 1900 (F), 2000 (A) 
    CDMA EV-DO Rev. A  (800, 1900, 2100 MHz) 
    UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz) 
    GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)

    Model A1778* 
    Model A1784*
    *Models A1778 and A1784 do not support CDMA networks, such as those used by Verizon and Sprint.
    FDD-LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30) 
    TD-LTE (Bands 38, 39, 40, 41) 
    UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz) 
    GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)

    All models
    802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi‑Fi with MIMO 
    Bluetooth 4.2 wireless technology 
    NFC

    From:
    http://www.apple.com/iphone-7/specs/

     sergioz said:
    Model A1778* 
    Model A1784*

    Models A1778 and A1784 do not support CDMA networks, such as those used by Verizon and Sprint.

    Model A1660* 
    Model A1661*

    Support all networks!


    h2p
  • Reply 15 of 41
    So is there any downside to using an iPhone 7 CDMA model (A1660 or A1661) EXCLUSIVELY on a GSM Network (like AT&T and T-Mobile)?

    http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/#iphone-7-iphone-7-plus
  • Reply 16 of 41
    chadbag said:
    if true it is similar to iPhone 6 and earlier where the iPhone 6 had separate versions for CDMA networks.  The 6S unified them. 
    I know that the 5s, SE, 6 and 6s that I have purchased from Verizon all will work on T-Mobile and AT&T, and looks like the 7 I ordered will, too.
  • Reply 17 of 41
    sflocal said:
    A problem that only .0000000001% of the users will care about

    They'll care when the iPhone 8 comes out and they want to sell their 7; both they and their buyers will need to know what model it is and what it's compatible with.
  • Reply 18 of 41
    I wish someone would correct me but I think I read somewhere that eventually Verizon and others will be converting to the GSM standard.

    please tell me that I'm dreaming.

    i also wonder how many others around the world are using the CDMA standard.
  • Reply 19 of 41
    dcgoodcgoo Posts: 211member
    This is not about iPhone buyers wanting to use CDMA networks. It's all about the resale value of your phone when you're ready to upgrade. A phone that supports every network and frequency worldwide is infinitely more valuable than one that is built for a specific carrier in a specific country.
    I'm not sure I buy "infinitely," but if true why would I not just buy a Verizon unlocked phone and use it on AT&T?  Is there any downside? I already have accounts with both carriers.  I have two iPhones on AT&T, and four data only devices on Verizon.  While unlikely, it is conceivable  I might want to move my phones to Verizon someday.
    h2p
  • Reply 20 of 41
    Even if you are on Verizon you wouldn't need cdma as their network is fully covered with LTE
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