A recent report by Mark Sullivan of Venture Beat claims that the iPhone 7 could be released in different versions, one of which will specifically target “emerging markets in Asia and Latin America.” Sullivan goes on to say that sources familiar with the story claim that the special version of the iPhone 7 will contain an Intel modem chip.
Intel to provide chip for special iPhone 7
It is incredibly important for Intel to have a presence in an iconic device such as the iPhone, and the company itself admits that it has fallen behind rival Qualcomm in the mobile chip market. Intel says that providing chips for mobile devices is a priority for the company, and the Intel 7360 LTE modem chip is capable of delivering speeds of up to 450 megabits per second.
However the most important news here is that Apple is considering releasing different versions of the iPhone 7. It is still not clear whether the devices which ship to Asia and Latin America will be the same as for the rest of the world, apart from the use of the Intel chip, or whether those emerging markets will get a cheaper iPhone 7.
Apple has never launched a low-cost version of the iPhone alongside its normal models. So far the company has offered cheaper products by keeping older versions of the iPhone available to customers. The iPhone 5c was released as an affordable device, but it was not that much cheaper than the normal iPhone 5.
What motivates Apple
Speculation has arisen that there might be other motivations behind the rumored use of Intel chips. One theory is that Apple is simply trying to make sure that it has enough components to meet the huge predicted demand for the iPhone 7, but there is also a possibility that the company is putting pressure on existing supplier Qualcomm, whose relationship with Apple has been described as “uneasy.”
“Second sourcing [finding a second supplier for] a major component might give Apple the upper hand in the relationship,” according to one source.
Details about the iPhone 7 remain thin on the ground, as you might expect for a device which won’t be released for such a long time.