It is already well known that Apple splits the modem manufacturing between both Intel and Qualcomm, and the iPhone X is no different. Whether the iPhone X you bought has Intel or Qualcomm inside depends on the source of the purchase and network that you are using.
Intel iPhone X faster than Qualcomm’s
As has been reported with the previous iPhones, splitting the modem production results in some iPhones being faster than others. Reportedly, the same is the case with some iPhone X units as well. According to SpeedSmart, a speed-test crowd-sourcing company, Intel is offering better speed on certain networks. This is in contrast to what Cellular Insights found after it tested Qualcomm and Intel iPhone 7 Plus models last year.
On AT&T and T-Mobile networks, which support both Intel and Qualcomm models, the Intel modem was faster compared to Qualcomm, claims SpeedSmart. The Intel iPhone X on AT&T averaged around 30.13 Mbps, whereas the iPhone X with Qualcomm inside averaged 27.46 Mbps. On T-Mobile, the Intel iPhone X gave an average speed of 33.34 Mbps, while the Qualcomm one averaged 26.54 Mbps.
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“We can say that when it comes to just purely speed that there is no reason if your on AT&T or T-Mobile to try to get a Qualcomm modem iPhone X. If anything the Intel modem version might be better for both those networks,” SpeedSmart said in a blog post.
Before jumping to any conclusions, it is important to note that the results are based on only 10 days of tests with a 5:1 test gap between Qualcomm and Intel modems. Further, the test considered only upload speed, download speed and latency, while variables like location, cell signal, or LTE bands are ignored. Also, the sample size is small. Not to forget, Apple reportedly limits the Qualcomm chips from hitting maximum speed.
Is this good news for Apple?
So, drawing any conclusion on these numbers would not be a wise thing to do. However, it could be kind of good news for Apple, who is at war with Qualcomm and is reportedly looking to design iPhones and iPads without Qualcomm LTE chips. Apple and Qualcomm are engaged in a legal tussle, and this is why Apple wants to side Qualcomm and go for Intel and even MediaTek in its next-generation devices.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Qualcomm is now not sharing the software that Apple needs to test LTE chips in its iPhone and iPad prototypes. Qualcomm, on the other hand, claims that Apple has already tested the chips that it plans to use in its next-generation device.
There is no ending in sight for the Apple and Qualcomm legal fight, which is growing more bitter by the day. Just a few days back, Qualcomm filed another lawsuit alleging that the iPhone maker has been sharing confidential Qualcomm software information with Intel. In the lawsuit, Qualcomm also noted that Apple previously vowed to keep the information confidential and secure.
Who knows, maybe the same information that Qualcomm is talking about is helping Intel chips to get faster, something that SpeedSmart found in its tests.