Intel supplying wireless chips in some Apple iPhone 7 models

“Apple Inc. is using wireless chips from Intel Corp. in some models of the new iPhone 7, people familiar with the matter said, a widely expected breakthrough in the chip giant’s multiyear quest to find a foothold in popular smartphones,” Don Clark reports for The Wall Street Journal. “The Intel baseband modem chips are a replacement for those sold by Qualcomm Inc., a longtime Apple supplier which is expected to supply wireless chips for the remainder of the iPhone 7 handsets. Some analysts believe that Intel could wind up supplying chips for as much as half the handsets Apple is likely to sell.”

“Intel’s milestone, following years of failures in the mobile market, isn’t a surprise. One reason is that Qualcomm managers had signaled earlier in the year that they expected to lose some iPhone chip sales. Bloomberg in June reported that Intel would win a share of modem sales in the next iPhone,” Clark reports. “But some component choices often aren’t confirmed until research firms have a chance to disassemble new devices after they go on sale. Industry executives say decisions can change at the last minute as companies conduct final negotiations over pricing and other terms.”

“Apple provided new clues Wednesday about its decision along with specifications for the iPhone 7, which is scheduled to appear in stores Sept. 16. The company disclosed that some models don’t support a cellular technology called CDMA, or code-division multiple access, which is used in some cellular networks and not others,” Clark reports. “Qualcomm, which helped popularize CDMA, builds in support for the technology and others in all its baseband chips, while Intel doesn’t. Consequently, analysts interpreted the non-CDMA models as powered by Intel chips and that models that work on the other networks use Qualcomm chips.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Confirmed.

iPhone 7 model support info:

Model A1660 and Model A1661 support:
• FDD-LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30)
• TD-LTE (Bands 38, 39, 40, 41)
• TD-SCDMA 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
• CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900, 2100 MHz)
• UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
• GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)

Model A1778 and Model A1784 support:
• FDD-LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30)
• TD-LTE (Bands 38, 39, 40, 41)
• UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
• GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
Note: Models A1778 and A1784 do not support CDMA networks, such as those used by Verizon and Sprint.

All models support:
• 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi‑Fi with MIMO
• Bluetooth 4.2 wireless technology

Intel may have started shipping XMM 7360 to Apple – July 22, 2016
Analyst: Intel beats Qualcomm to supply 50% of Apple iPhone 7 units – July 11, 2016
Some versions of Apple’s iPhone 7 will use Intel chips; Intel gets first mobile win – June 10, 2016
Apple’s potential switch for key iPhone component hits Qualcomm – April 21, 2016
More evidence that Apple is building its own modem – March 19, 2015
Intel axes 12,000 employees, 11% of its workforce – April 19, 2016
After eating Intel’s mobile lunch, Apple could next devour Qualcomm’s Baseband Processor business – January 20, 2015
Intel has 1,000 people working on chips for Apple iPhone – October 17, 2015


  1. I am NOT happy about this. I am on AT&T, so my new state of the art iPhone will not have CDMA. Yes, CDMA is a dying outdated network, but sometimes, that is all there is out in the middle of nowhere. All because intel hasn’t put CDMA in it’s chip yet. I read somewhere intel will add CDMA to their chip sometime in the future.

    1. AT&T doesn’t support CDMA, so if “that’s all that’s out there” someplace, having your iPhone support CDMA isn’t going to help you if you’re dependent upon AT&T anyway.

      If having CDMA hardware makes you “feel better”, then just buy an A1660 or A1661 model and being it over to AT&T.

      I doubt Intel will ever support CDMA. It’s dying and the numbers are only going down from here.

    2. I may be wrong but the advantage of AT&T GSM is that in those times when you aren’t in the middle of nowhere you can talk on speakerphone while you’re texting, emailing or surfing the web. I don’t think CDMA tech supports this type of “Multi-tasking.” As always, if I’m wrong, someone, please correct me as I’m sure you will.

    3. Then just buy the one with the cdma radio in it unlocked. That’ll work on att. I don’t understand what the problem is here, just buy the one that supports it. Secondly, att doesn’t support cdma to begin with.

  2. I wonder if there will be some other real-world difference between the two chipsets. I.e., is one likely to be more battery efficient than the other?

    Didn’t we see something like that with the Samsung vs TSMC A9 chips in the iPhone 6s? I think I recall TSCM having slightly longer battery life.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.