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Rumor comes true: Intel's 4G LTE modem chip is inside some models of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Rumor comes true: Intel's 4G LTE modem chip is inside some models of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
For the last couple of years, a certain rumor would pop up every now and then. The rumor speculated that Apple was about to employ Intel's modem chip on a certain percentage of iPhone models. And today, we can tell you that Intel's 4G LTE modem is found inside certain Apple iPhone 7 and Apple iPhone 7 Plus units that work with the GSM carriers in the U.S. like T-Mobile and AT&T. The CDMA operators like Verizon and Sprint support both Intel's 4G LTE modem chip, and the one made by Qualcomm. For the last few years, Apple has relied on a Qualcomm produced modem for the iPhone.

Back in 2015, Apple reportedly sent a team of engineers to Munich, the city where Intel's 7360 4G LTE modem was created. There, the two sides worked on optimizing the chip to allow it to run on Apple's smartphones. According to the latest report, the Qualcomm modem is in use on all of the Verizon and Sprint branded iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models. Meanwhile, Qualcomm and Intel split the modem chores on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus units offered by T-Mobile, AT&T and most overseas carriers.

Apple usually likes to have multiple sources for major components. This way, the company can make sure they have enough parts even if one of the sources is having problems. It also allows Apple to play one source against the other when it comes to pricing. Hopefully, there isn't a major discrepancy between the performance of the two modems. Last year, some Apple iPhone 6s and Apple iPhone 6s Plus owners thought that they noticed a difference in performance between the A9 chipset manufactured by Samsung, and the one made by TSMC. The chipset produced by TSMC outperformed the Samsung chipset in benchmark tests, and had longer battery life. But the brouhaha died down after Apple said that the difference in battery life was only 2% to 3%, which was within Apple's acceptable range.

Now that Intel has its foot in the door, so to speak, it hopes to get a shot at producing the Ax chipset for an upcoming iPhone model.

source: Recode

21 Comments
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posted on 09 Sep 2016, 19:36 6

1. NarutoKage14 (Posts: 854; Member since: 31 Aug 2016)


Some iPhone headphone jack memes i find amusing lol.

If you defend the removal of the headphone jack this isn't for you.

http://gizmodo.com/the-best-thing-about-the-death-of-the-headphone-jack-ar-1786438918

posted on 09 Sep 2016, 19:38 1

2. kiko007 (Posts: 5217; Member since: 17 Feb 2016)


Haha XD......that's priceless.

posted on 09 Sep 2016, 19:39 1

3. kiko007 (Posts: 5217; Member since: 17 Feb 2016)


Most of those are pretty funny, and I supported the drop. I guess funny is funny regardless :P.

posted on 09 Sep 2016, 19:48 2

6. trojan_horse (Posts: 4647; Member since: 06 May 2016)


Memes... But it's kinda off-topic here, no?

posted on 09 Sep 2016, 19:53 1

8. NarutoKage14 (Posts: 854; Member since: 31 Aug 2016)


It's still related to this Apple article....... don't be so uptight.

posted on 09 Sep 2016, 23:02

14. JC557 (Posts: 1788; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


Meh, i'm indifferent to the headphone jack especially after owning the Moto Z Force for a month. I spend most of my music time on the ipod nano so i can use the phone for other things over a potential 15hr work day. The adapter, while another thing to pack, suffices.

That said no moar courage!

posted on 09 Sep 2016, 23:54

17. deewinc (Posts: 384; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


That sex is really really bad.

posted on 10 Sep 2016, 03:30

20. BradyCrack (Posts: 827; Member since: 29 Dec 2015)


Hahaha, I don't care on the removal for the headphone jack but God that sex was bad!

posted on 10 Sep 2016, 10:42

21. TerrellAmerica (Posts: 49; Member since: 19 Apr 2016)


Thanks haha

posted on 09 Sep 2016, 19:40

4. NarutoKage14 (Posts: 854; Member since: 31 Aug 2016)


Intel doesn't have a very good track record for making ICs frugal enough for mobile phone use. Here's hoping they refined their architecture and they help push further improvements.

posted on 09 Sep 2016, 19:43

5. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)


Snapdragon isn't any better.

posted on 09 Sep 2016, 19:52 1

7. NarutoKage14 (Posts: 854; Member since: 31 Aug 2016)


Snapdragon, Exynos and probably even Mediatek and Kirin are arguably better than what Intel has produced and delivered to consumers thus far. Again I'm hoping they did produce good improvements as that will further push everyone else to improve. Competition is usually good in the long run.

posted on 09 Sep 2016, 20:17 1

10. iFlasher (Posts: 21; Member since: 09 Dec 2014)


Snapdragon, Exynos and probably even Mediatek isn't any better.

posted on 10 Sep 2016, 00:55

19. vincelongman (Posts: 5048; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


In terms of modems, Qualcomm has always been number 1
But Intel/Samsung have closed most of that gap now

posted on 09 Sep 2016, 23:06

15. JC557 (Posts: 1788; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


Yesh they have back when PDAs were the thing to own way back when as they were quite efficient and kept on improving. Intel has always been working on communications modules so they are quite experienced in this field and I'd trust them to put out quality stuff.

Now I will be looking forward to the benchmark comparisons especially the power consumption.

posted on 10 Sep 2016, 00:53

18. vincelongman (Posts: 5048; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Its a modem, whole different ballpark compared to SoCs
Intel's made modems for Samsung Exynos devices in the past

Intel/Samsung have closed most of the gap between them and Qualcomm in terms of modems

posted on 09 Sep 2016, 20:14 1

9. Unordinary (unregistered)


Brouhaha - you learn a new word every day. Thanks Alan

posted on 09 Sep 2016, 21:03

11. Babadook (Posts: 203; Member since: 24 May 2016)


I thought Intel was gonna make chips for Android? Which is supposed to be better than Qualcomm?

posted on 09 Sep 2016, 21:07 1

12. Zylam (Posts: 1083; Member since: 20 Oct 2010)


They have been making chips for Android for ages, it didn't work out, the only major Oem that used their chips was Asus in their Zen phones. Even they have moved on to Qualcomm now.

posted on 09 Sep 2016, 21:21

13. Babadook (Posts: 203; Member since: 24 May 2016)


Oh weird. I thought I read something on this website about Intel getting into the cell phone chip market?! Maybe I misunderstood the article. Damn it. I thought like a giant new wave of super fast chips were coming lol :(

posted on 09 Sep 2016, 23:07

16. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 2236; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)


No, they mostly dropped out by canceling a bunch of their Cherry Trail SKUs and the successor SoCs.

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