Apple will launch its next iPhone X 2018 at the return of summer if all the rumors are fulfilled; a device that will arrive in 3 well-differentiated sizes among which is included a cheap version of the iPhone X. Today we know something more about what these devices will bring, since it will be Intel who is responsible for supplying the modem present in the device, a chip that if all goes well, will be the only one to integrate the iPhone X 2018, ending with the “discriminations” of users that occurred with the first iPhone X.
Apple has been a few years “to the brawl” with Qualcomm, in a relationship in the purest love / hate style, the Cupertino little by little are putting land in between with the intention of depend as little as possible on Qualcomm , and Intel is being the most benefited from it.
Intel improves with the XMM 7560 for the next iPhone X 2018
In previous articles we have already told you in detail that the iPhone 7 offered a connection speed and a 4G coverage quality that varied considerably depending on the model we used.
We do not know exactly if the modem supplied by Qualcomm was not capable of operating in the networks of all the operators, or if simply Apple wanted to diversify its suppliers, but the truth is that the units of iPhone 7 sold in Europe (and Spain) offered a 4G connection quality worse that those supplied in the US and other countries, which integrated a Qualcomm solution and behaved much better in congested network environments or where the signal strength was not good.
Despite the above, it seems that Intel has managed to get the favor of Apple, and the way to get it is a new modem named XMM 7560, which could be the only one to integrate the iPhone X 2018 if Intel does its job well.
According Asha Keddy, Vice President of Technology, Systems Architecture and Intel Clients Group, this modem is already in the phase of testing and mass production, and is a milestone for Intel because it is the first CDMA modem of the company.
Explaining all this a little, and in broad strokes, say that CMDA is a radio technology for mobile phones created by Qualcomm and used mainly by US operators (some also use GSM), while technology GSM It is the only one used in Europe.
If Intel has integrated CMDA support in its means it will have had to buy the license to Qualcomm , something that will increase the cost of the product, but at the same time will be beneficial for Intel because it can make your modem work with both technologies and therefore in the US and Europe.
At the same time, Apple also benefits from this movement, because it no longer needs Qualcomm’s modems to sell iPhones in the US, getting what we said at the beginning, to depend less on Qualcomm.
And what about the users?
As we have said, the solution provided by Intel to date offered a performance worse than that of Qualcomm, which had as a consequence that there was a best 4G connection on the American iPhone X .
Now Intel tries to fix this, and by offering with the XMM 7560 A more global modem, Apple could stop discriminating its users based on their country of residence and offer a single type of iPhone X 2018 for everyone, something that would be beneficial for European buyers.
It’s early to know if Intel has done its homework well, since for now we only know that the XMM 7560 is manufactured in 14 nm and that is capable of support 35 bands different and a download speed of up to 1 Gbps .
This figure was already reached by the X16 modem present in the Snapdragon 835 and is also reachable by the X20 present in the Snapdragon 845, which even reaches 1.2 Gbps data download.
But of course, not everything is a modem is its maximum data download speed, since the various technologies that includes the same ( Multi-band aggregation, MIMO 4 × 4, etc ) they have a great influence on how the available bands are used in a certain place and therefore on the resulting connection quality, but at least it means that Intel is on the right track, even though Qualcomm already announced its modem Snapdragon X24 with downloads of up to 2 Gbps.
Another important fact throughout this commercial operation is that the XMM 7560 is being manufactured by Intel itself , that until now had its production outsourced in TSMC, which also implies a cost saving for Intel and we suppose that also for Apple, Intel can offer a better sale price.
The end of the binomial Apple / Qualcomm?
Well, it’s too early to throw the bells on the fly. We must consider two things, the first is that despite the efforts of Intel, Qualcomm seems to be ahead of Intel in terms of modem technology, but on the other hand, we must also consider the fact that in the Real life, very few cities and operators are able to offer a connection speed that takes the capabilities of the modems present in our smartphones to the limit.
This brings us to the fact that it matters more the modem’s ability to maintain the signal even in Adverse conditions than its maximum download or upload speed, which will normally be much more limited by the coverage of our operator.
So, when the iPhone X 2018 arrives, it will be time to see the quality of the XMM 7560 modem, since there may no longer be discrimination between users, but it could also be the case that equality has been given down and Intel’s modem does not meet expectations or at least perform worse than Qualcomm’s solutions.
Beyond these doubts, we must also comment that some information point out that the XMM 7560 could have some quality problems , which would make Apple could ask a last minute favor to Qualcomm to supply some chips.
It is soon to know if Intel manages to make Apple fall out of Qualcomm or if this “love trio” keeps maintaining another year to disappointment of European users. Anyway, it is a fact that Apple will end sooner or later of Qualcomm, especially if we take into account that Intel would already be working with Apple in a new series of XMM 8000 modems with support for 5G and that would come integrated in the iPhones of 2019.