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2018 iPhones to only run Intel inside

06 February 2018

While Apple generally relies on both Qualcomm and Intel for their high-performance LTE chips, it looks like the iPhone manufacturer is going to be ditching Qualcomm and exclusively rely on Intel, if a report from Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities is to be beleived.

It seems that Apple is getting ready to up the pressure on Qualcomm by switching to Intel modems for this year's iPhone line up.

Apple refreshing the fairly popular iPhone SE this 2018 remains on shaky ground, and if indeed a new model will materialize, it's not expected to generate earth-shaking excitement. The offer contains a restriction: Qualcomm's bid to acquire NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI), maker of the near-field communications (NFC) chips used in the iPhone to process Apple Pay transactions, may not be raised - it may only be completed on the existing terms or terminated.

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Apple and Qualcomm are hardly the best of friends.

This report is the latest in the growing tension between Apple and Qualcomm over a major lawsuit on anticompetitive licensing practices. In July 2017, Qualcomm moved to ban iPhones in the USA after Apple allegedly violated six patents that also have something to do with battery life.

Other important features expected to come to the iPhones are Gigabit LTE connectivity and dual SIM standby.

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Apple is able to make the switch because of the capabilities of Intel's latest XMM 7560 modem, which now supports both GSM and CDMA. Qualcomm had also sought a ban on iPhone X in the US.

Apple and Qualcomm are already entangled in competing lawsuits related to royalty payments to Qualcomm for their modem chips and patent infringement by Qualcomm over power management patents owned by Apple. The KGI report further claims that Apple is working to augment LTE transmission speeds by introducing 4X4 MIMO Chipsets. Kuo believes Apple prefers to diversify its supplier base and it wouldn't want to rely entirely on Intel for long. In fact, Qualcomm was fined 700 million euros just recently for signing a deal with Apple that gives Qualcomm exclusivity with the tech giant.

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2018 iPhones to only run Intel inside