CFO George Davis finally conceded in Qualcomm’s earnings call what was considered a sure-shot thing by most analysts. Finally, Apple will eliminate Qualcomm’s wireless modem chips from all its upcoming iPhone models (X, X Plus…)
It is quite evident that Apple no more wants to incorporate Qualcomm’s modems as the company didn’t renew its indenture with the chipmaker last month. According to Davis, Apple solely intends to work with its (Qualcomm’s) competitor modems rather than Qualcomm’s modems in its imminent iPhone release.
Until 2 years ago when Intel began delivering chips for iPhones that were incompatible with Sprint CDMA and Verizon networks, Qualcomm was considered as Apple’s sole supplier of wireless modems.
Currently, Qualcomm single-handedly holds around 50% of the global wireless modem chip market, with MediaTek on the second position with 25%, and Intel being accounted as third with 6%, while Huawei, Spreadtrum, and Samsung holding the remainder.
A research study was sent to the clients, explaining the fact that Apple will utilize Intel’s upcoming 7560 wireless modem chip that will be pretty much on par with the performance of Qualcomm’s current existing X20 wireless modem found in its Snapdragon 845 processor, espoused by majority of the high-end Android smartphones of the year like the OnePlus 6, the Xiaomi Mi8, the Samsung S9, or the Oppo Find X.
Regardless of the shrunken performance gap between Intel and Qualcomm modem parts, Qualcomm is still in lead with 6 months over Intel with its impending X24 LTE modem and almost a year ahead in 5G modems.
So, can Qualcomm win Apple back?
Despite Apple’s sale of millions of older legacy iPhones that function with wireless modem chips, the incorporation of Qualcomm in the 2k18 lineup of iPhone is a definite no.
If Intel by any chance screws up its manufacture of the next-gen modem (XMM 7660) that will be built constructed on its own 10 nanometers fab as an alternative of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC), expected to be in the 2k19 lineup of iPhone, the San-Diego based company has the ray of hope to win back some of the Apple’s modem business.
A statement that Qualcomm pres. gave in one of his interviews, “I think we’ve been very clear, and we don’t expect to be in the next product launch, and we’ll continue to support them with the legacy. We feel pretty good about our modem leadership. I think we disclosed there are some very interesting, I think, third-party customer reports that show our performance, and we will continue to be investing in modems. And if the opportunity presents itself, I think we will be a supplier of Apple.”
As Intel has no options to retract its steps towards TSMC to manufacture its chips, it can be considered as a poor possibility.
In conclusion, we can all speculate that Apple has verified designs using wireless modem chips from Samsung which can prove as a better option just in case Intel fails to fulfill its commitment of provision. The electronic giant of South Korea is at present supplying several iPhone components, inclusive of memory chips, displays, and can also prove as a dependable source for wireless modems.