This year’s new iPhones might not be as fast as they could be

Picture: lance ulanoff/mashable

Apple might eventually ditch Qualcomm, the supplier of LTE modems in the iPhone, after becoming locked into legal disputes over patent royalties this past year.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims, according to MacRumors, that Intel might be the exclusive supplier of modems for all the new iPhones launching later this season.

Why should you care? Because it could signify the new iPhones might have possibly slower data transfer speeds.

A quick history lesson. Up until the iPhone 7, Qualcomm was the exclusive supplier to get “baseband modem” processors to the iPhone.  

Whenever the iPhone 7 started, it had been found that a number of devices came with Intel modems and some came with Qualcomm.  

The difference was at the download speed. Although the iPhones with Qualcomm modems have been capable of considerably quicker theoretical download speeds, Apple throttled down them so as to keep pace with iPhones with Intel’s modems.

A PCMag report discovered similar effects for the iPhone X, with Qualcomm-equipped iPhones overperforming ones with Intel processors.

In a nutshell: Qualcomm modems are better because they provide faster download speeds. You want an iPhone with a Qualcomm modem.  

As great as Intel modems are, Qualcomm’s are better. But if Apple simply uses Intel modems, all iPhone consumers will suffer. Rather than receiving the best modem available with the fastest download speed, Apple will make us all settle for second best.

Do not get me wrong, this year’s new iPhones are expected to be quickly — Kuo’s predicting new iPhones will finally make the leap to 4×4 MIMO antennas rather than the current 2×2 MIMO — however they might not be as quickly as they could be.


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