KGI: 2018 iPhones to use Intel baseband chips exclusively, ditching Qualcomm

Since iPhone 7, Apple has shared baseband chip orders for iPhones with Qualcomm and Intel. For the 2018 iPhones, KGI reports that Apple is set to rely on Intel as the exclusive supplier, amidst Apple’s ongoing legal battles with Qualcomm.

KGI says Intel can meet Apple’s technical requirements and offers more competitive prices.

In November, KGI reported that Apple will improve LTE transmission speeds significantly by supporting 4×4 MIMO chipsets. At the time, Ming-Chi Kuo believed Apple would give about 30% of the orders to Qualcomm.

He is now claiming that Qualcomm will be excluded from 2018 iPhones altogether. However, KGI does not rule out Qualcomm returning to the supply chain, perhaps as concessions in the patent lawsuit settlement.

KGI says there’s also a risk that Intel may not be ready for 5G networking as quickly as Qualcomm, which may also force Apple’s hand.

Once again, KGI says Intel’s chip will support dual SIM and dual standby. However, there are no direct claims that Apple will make an iPhone model with two physical SIM slots.

In the past, benchmarks of iPhone models have shown that units with the Qualcomm baseband chipset performed slightly better than the model with the Intel internals. This discrepancy will not exist if Apple gets all of its chips from one supplier in the 2018 iPhone lineup.

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