Intel to make iPhone 7 LTE modem chip, Qualcomm reports future losses

Qualcomm has had something of a rough time recovering since the Snapdragon 810 processor chip. Although the company used the chip in last year’s Android smartphones such as the LG G Flex 2, Sony Xperia Z5/Z5 Compact/Z5 Premium, and even Google’s Nexus 6P, consumers lost confidence in the processor chipmaker to provide an experience that wouldn’t overheat and prove dangerous to them. Qualcomm has rebounded in something of a miraculous fashion with the Snapdragon 820 processor, but the company reports that financial losses are ahead due to the loss of one of its major clients to a rival company. According to the source,

Qualcomm Inc., the world’s largest maker of chips that go inside smartphones, indicated on an earnings call Wednesday that it may be losing some orders from Apple for modem chips that link the iPhone to the web. Qualcomm Chief Executive Officer Steve Mellenkopf told analysts he is ‘assuming’ that a major customer will give orders to a rival, indicating a potential loss of business for the company.

The message we can take from this is that the iPhone 7 will have an internet chip, preferably an LTE modem (could be WiFi from the statement above). Intel is the rival to Qualcomm in LTE modem production, so it appears as though Intel could gain the service of Apple. Outside of Apple, Samsung is the only other giant that uses Qualcomm for its LTE modems (though Samsung uses a number of chipmakers for LTE modems, not just Qualcomm). Apple has relied wholly on Qualcomm up to now, but that could change, if Apple is the client who’ll cost Qualcomm significant business this year.

The device in question would be the iPhone 7, since companies contract with chipmakers and other component makers for business with regard to new handsets. Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus this September, though iOS 10 will likely be announced at WWDC 2016 in June.

Outside of the iPhone 7 LTE modem, we do know that Apple will likely stick with the 4.7-inch display for the iPhone 7 and the 5.5-inch display for the iPhone 7 Plus (these same display sizes are in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus). Apple may choose to use an AMOLED display and a glass design for the new devices, though these rumors have been pegged for 2018 instead. As always, though, Apple is in charge of the final decision, so stay tuned.


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