Intel could reap $1.5 billion in revenue from modem orders for the Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
Cowen and Co. analyst Timothy Arcuri sent out a note to clients on Sunday stating that field checks indicate a larger share of iPhone 7 units will include the Intel modem chip than originally thought. Over the life of the Apple iPhone 7 and Apple iPhone 7 Plus, Arcuri estimates that Intel will provide Apple with 100 million to 110 million 7360 LTE modem chips. That would be double the original forecast that called for 25% of the next iteration of the iPhone to come with 'Intel Inside.' Supplying half of the next generation iPhone units with the 7360 LTE modem could lead Intel to garner $1.5 billion in revenue from the order.
Arcuri believes that by capturing some of the modem business for the iPhone, Intel could find itself eventually integrating its modem into Apple's Ax SoC. Combining the modem chip with the applications processor could save space inside the phone. This would allow Apple to make the device thinner, or allow it to add a higher capacity battery. It also could make the iPhone more efficient, and lower the cost of manufacturing the handset. The analyst adds that Apple might add insult to injury by using Intel's foundry to produce such a chip instead of relying on Qualcomm's production facilities.