Apple is currently locked in a bitter legal dispute with Qualcomm. The Cupertino company has sued Qualcomm for $1 billion over patent royalties. Qualcomm’s practice of charging patent licensing fees as a percentage of the total iPhone cost hasn’t gone down well with Apple, which believes that Qualcomm is charging higher for an unrelated value that Apple itself creates. Amid all this, Intel may end up supplying baseband processor modem for the iPhone 7S and iPhone 8.

iPhone 8 Concept
Image Source: Moe Slah / Concepts iPhone / YouTube video (screenshot)

XMM 7560 supports CDMA and LTE

On Tuesday, Intel unveiled its XMM 7560 baseband processor modem to take on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X16 modem. Apple currently uses Intel modems in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus sold on AT&T and T-Mobile. But Intel didn’t offer support for CDMA networks, so Apple had to stick to Qualcomm for use with carriers like Sprint and Verizon. Intel’s new XMM 7560 modem supports both CDMA and LTE.

Sascha Segan of PCMag said the latest Intel modem was the “frontrunner” for the upcoming iPhone 7S and iPhone 8 smartphones. The XMM 7560 is LTE category 16/13, which means it offers download speeds of up to 1Gbps and upload speeds of 225Mbps. What’s more, it supports up to 35 LTE bands and all the current standards of CDMA, GSM, and LTE, said Segan.

Why Apple may switch entirely to Intel

The XMM 7560 could give Apple a strong reason to switch to Intel entirely, especially considering the Cupertino company’s bitter feud with Qualcomm. San Diego-based Qualcomm still hopes that the dispute wouldn’t affect its business relationship with Apple. The upcoming iPhone 8 is rumored to cost upward of $1,000 due to exciting new features and a radical new design.

Due to its legal fight, Apple may not be able to negotiate a favorable deal with Qualcomm, which may prompt it to switch entirely to Intel’s XMM 7560. Until now, Intel has been struggling to gain a strong foothold in the mobile market despite its repeated attempts. If it becomes the sole supplier for Apple, Intel could greatly enhance its presence in the mobile baseband market.

Intel said in a statement that its XMM 7560 modem would sample in the first half of 2017, and enter mass production soon afterward.

iPhone 8 to support Qi or Airfuel wireless charging

Cowen & Company analyst Tim Arcuri said in a research report to investors that the iPhone 8 is coming with wireless charging, but not the kind most users have been expecting. For more than a year, there have been speculations that the device would use Energous’ WattUp wireless charging technology that could charge the phone from a distance of up to 18 feet.

Sources told Arcuri that the iPhone 8 would support either Qi or Airfuel wireless charging standards. Qi, which has become increasingly popular in recent years, requires the phone to be placed on a charging pad. Airfuel requires the device to be in close proximity to the charging pad, making it slightly better than the Qi standard.