Northland Capital Markets’ Tom Sepenzis “thinks Qualcomm is going to come out on top in the war for mobile baseband modem chips, where Intel has lately been its biggest obstacle,” Tiernan Ray reports for Barron’s.
“Intel, you’ll recall, this year won part of the business to supply the modem in Apple’s iPhone that Qualcomm had previously had to itself for several iterations of the device,” Ray reports. “But Sepenzis points to reports that Intel’s modem is slower than Qualcomm’s, and thinks Apple might cut off Intel if it continues to lag Qualcomm.”
There have been several reports over the past month that have compared the speeds associated with both the INTC and QCOM modems in their respective iPhone models, with INTC coming up short. Apple apparently has throttled the speeds on the QCOM modems to keep the experience consistent across carriers, with the QCOM X12 modem capable of 600 mb/s while the INTC XMM 3360 modem tops out at 450 mb/ s. While Apple will certainly keep a second source if possible, it isn’t going to do so for too long if it has to handicap half of its devices. This should give QCOM a path towards recapturing all of Apple over the next two years if Intel doesn’t find an answer. Currently, the next generation INTC XMM 7480 modem is still capped at 450 mb/s. QCOM has already introduced the X16 modem, capable of 1 gb/s, the first gigabit modem. — Tom Sepenzis, Northland Capital Markets analyst
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last month:
So, Apple has chosen to benefit themselves (getting multiple modem suppliers to drive down cost, even if one is markedly inferior) at the expense of their iPhone customers who, if they all had superior Qualcomm modems inside their iPhones, would be getting nearly twice the Mbps than they are now.
In a nutshell: Apple has chosen to maximize their potential profits over delighting their customers, making the following statements sound like utter bullshit:
• “We’re very simple people at Apple. We focus on making the world’s best products and enriching people’s lives.” — Tim Cook
• “I want you to be confident that Apple is not going to change. I cherish and celebrate Apple’s unique principles and values. Steve built a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world and we are going to stay true to that — it is in our DNA. We are going to continue to make the best products in the world that delight our customers and make our employees incredibly proud of what they do”. — Tim Cook
In this case, Tim, we’re certainly not delighted and Apple employees should not be incredibly proud.
Yes, Apple is throttling download speeds for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Verizon and Sprint versions – November 19, 2016
Apple’s modem choices may leave Verizon iPhone users feeling throttled – November 18, 2016
Tests show iPhone 7 Plus models with Qualcomm modem perform significantly better than those with Intel modem – October 20, 2016