After siding with Qualcomm's LTE modems for the last few years, it looks like Apple may be opting to use Intel's latest LTE Category 10 modem on select iPhones in 2016.
According to Venturebeat:
Intel's new 7360 LTE modem will occupy a socket on the new iPhone's circuit board that's long been reserved for Qualcomm chips.
Intel has been gunning hard during the past year for a place in the iPhone and now appears to have succeeded, at least partly. The 7360 chip will ship inside a special version of the iPhone that will be marketed to emerging markets in Asia and Latin America, the sources said.
For months Apple engineers have been making trips to Munich, Germany to work with Intel engineers to ready the Intel LTE chip for the iPhone, one of our sources said.
Intel's XMM 7360 LTE modem offers LTE Category 10 connectivity with download speeds of up to 450Mbps and support for 29 LTE bands across the globe. The baseband modem supports LTE standards such as LTE-FDD and LTE-TDD, and is also compatible with TD-SCDMA, which is used by China Mobile. Mention of a special version of the iPhone is interesting, as Apple currently does not offer differentiate its products based on the region.
There was no clear reason given as to why Apple would be looking to switch from Qualcomm's LTE offerings, which are widely regarded as the best in the segment, with the report only stating that the two companies have an "uneasy relationship."
Apple's move to use Intel's LTE modems, at least partially, would be a huge loss for Qualcomm, which already lost Samsung as a partner for its Snapdragon 810 SoC earlier this year.