Apple has sort of confirmed that some versions of the iPhone 7 come with an Intel modem. It is clearly stated on the iPhone 7 spec webpage that Models A1778 and A1784 do not offer support for CDMA networks, which are used by Verizon and Sprint. Also Intel’s 7360 chip doesn’t support CDMA, so “This news is as big as the confirmation,” says Fudzilla.
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It is known for sure that Apple does not use Samsung’s standalone modems, and there are no other companies that have standalone modems of their own. The remaining candidates, MediaTek and Huawei, have SoCs that include the CPU and modem on the same chip, says Fudzilla.
Apple’s iPhone 2G, 3G and 3GS, 4, and 4GS used modems made by a company named Infineon, which later was acquired by Intel. This was before the iPhone shifted to support 4G. Before the iPhone 7, Apple had used Qualcomm chipsets in the iPhone since it started using 4G.
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Some of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models might have Intel’s 7360 chip, which supports LTE-FDD/TDD up to 450M bps downlink, LTE Advanced up to Cat.10, EDGE, DC-HSPA+ and TD-SCDMA, notes Fudzilla.
Drawbacks of Apple choosing Intel
Intel’s modem doesn’t support CDMA, so the Models A1778 iPhone 7 and A1784 iPhone 7 Plus will not work on Verizon and Sprint, notes Fudzilla.
“Again, the fact that Apple chose Intel means two things, and Intel doesn’t make the best modems. On the contrary, Intel makes a decent modem that is inferior to the competition but is a) cheaper and b) a gateway to dual sourcing for Apple,” says Fudzilla.
Verizon is the largest network in the U.S., and in July 2016, it had 142.8 million subscribers. T-Mobile had 63.282 million subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2015. China Telecom is also using the CDMA-2000 network. Telecom China had 208.68 million subscribers, of which 95.83 million use the 4G network. These numbers were from June 2016.
Networks in China use TD-SCDMA or Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access as an alternative to W-CDMA while Intel’s 7360 does not support TD-SCDMA. According to Fudzilla, there will be a third SKU for the iPhone 7 A1779 exclusively made for Japan and an iPhone 7 Plus A1785 Japan version.
At 9:33 a.m. Eastern, Intel shares were up 0.2% at $35.69. Year to date, the stock is up almost 2%. while in the last year, it is up almost 21%. The stock has a 52-week high of $36.65 and a 52-week low of $27.68.