KGI Securities’ analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in his latest note to investors claims that Apple will be exclusively using Intel modems inside its 2018 iPhone lineup. iPhone 7 models launched in 2016 were the first iPhone devices to feature an Intel model. Qualcomm always managed to secure a majority of the baseband order from Apple in the past while Apple had to supply basebands for select few iPhone models in the United States.
The tests had claimed that the performance of Intel modems was inferior to those made by Qualcomm with a Significant margin. Still, Apple continued to use Intel modem inside the iPhone X and the iPhone 8. Kuo believes that Intel can now meet Apple’s technical requirements and offers more competitive prices as compared to Qualcomm.
Back in November, KGI had reported that Apple will be using a faster LTE modem inside 2018 iPhone lineup with 4×4 MIMO support. Back then, Kuo believed that the company will still source 30% of its Modem orders from Qualcomm. Now he claims that Apple will exclude Qualcomm from supplying modem for 2018 iPhone models, however, he has not completely ruled out Qualcomm from Apple’s supply chain in the future. He predicts that Qualcomm may return to Apple’s supply chain as a concession from their ongoing patent lawsuit.
Kuo also says that Intel might not be ready 5G networking as quickly as Qualcomm, which may force the company to fall back to Qualcomm for 5G chips. He reiterates his previous claim that Intel’s chip will support dual SIM and dual standby. However, he does not claim that Apple will feature dual SIM slots for two SIM cards in future iPhones.
Qualcomm is already in-fight with Apple over a major lawsuit against Apple and the news of the fruit company switching completely to Intel for modems is not going to go down well with her. Considering how big of a client Apple is to Qualcomm, Kuo’s prediction, if true, will hit the company really hard this year. Samsung has already started using its own baseband chips in the international variant. With Qualcomm losing order from major OEMs, the company might end up reconsidering its business strategy.