Apple currently uses a mix of Qualcomm and Intel modems in its handsets, but for the iPhone XI, iPhone 9 and any other 2018 model Apple may exclusively use Intel ones.
That should mean users of different iPhones won’t experience discrepancies in data speeds, as has been the case with the iPhone X, some of which have Intel modems while others have Qualcomm ones that are reportedly faster.
But that’s unlikely to be why Apple has supposedly come to this decision; rather its ongoing lawsuits with Qualcomm are probably a big factor.
That, and the fact that Intel’s new XMM 7560 modem supports both GSM and CDMA radio systems, so it’s actually possible to use it across all regions and networks. Previously Intel’s modems lacked CDMA support, so Apple had to use Qualcomm for at least some of the modems.
Subject to change
The claims of a switch to Intel-only are made in a research note from famed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, obtained by MacRumors and 9to5Mac. But Kuo adds that it’s too early to tell whether Intel will maintain its position of exclusivity in the future, as Apple doesn’t typically like being dependent on a single company.
Apple may also decide to give Qualcomm some orders in exchange for concessions in the aforementioned lawsuits, Kuo notes.
The change probably won’t affect the new iPhone models much, but whatever modem(s) Apple uses there’s sure to be a speed boost over the iPhone X and iPhone 8.