Published in Mobiles

Qualcomm won’t be in the 2018 iPhone

by on26 July 2018

Apple lover stuck with slower choice

Qualcomm has been signaling since the beginning of the 2018 that it might not end up in Apple's iPhone 2018 and at its last financial conference call it officially confirmed it.

It looks like the iPhone 2018 generation is stuck with Intel 7560 and we  reported this a few months ago. Qualcomm confirmed it believe Apple intends to solely use its competitors' modems rather than its modems in its next iPhone release.

The magical things that Intel has been missing and Apple desperately needed were CDMA support for US, Japan and China carriers and Gigabit LTE. It looks like Apple iPhone’s end up slower when using Intel modem than Snapdragon 845 phones, at least according to the Ookla speedtest.

The GigabitLTE speed is a nice achievement but it comes in time when Qualcomm X24 chipset that is sampling to customers can achieve double that speed.

Investing in the modem is part of Qualcomm's strategy and having robust 4G LTE /Gigabit LTE support will be one of the most important features in the 5G era. That era, at least if you are Qualcomm, starts in early 2019, while Apple probably won't have 5G until 2020. Apple is usually late to  modem innovations and this won't change with 5G.

iPhone users stuck with slower LTE

Apple wants people to buy a nice design and good software back end and don’t care about the components inside of the device. This has never changed since the early days of Apple and its special proprietary way to produce its non-standard connectors way of thinking.

At the Q3 FY2018 conference call,  Cristiano Amon the President of Qualcomm and QTL,  added that despite the fact that Qualcomm won't make it to Apple next product launch, the company continues to support them with legacy. 

Since this is a dynamic industry, Cristiano adds that if the opportunity presents itself, Qualcomm might end up being an Apple modem supplier again.

Qualcomm feels good about the modem leadership, and we don’t blame them, since compared to Intel they can do 2 Gbps on the second generation GigabitLTE device while the competition barely gets to 1 Gbps. Intel also plans to have 1.6 Gbps in mid-2019 and we are certain that Qualcomm can get over 2 Gbps maximal speed with a future release.

Things will get more complicated with 5G, as Qualcomm showcased 4.51 Gbps capable X50 based 5G NR modems while Intel, Huawei and the rest of the competitors have yet to show a 5G NR chip and prototype in a phone form factor.

Last modified on 26 July 2018
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