Some of Apple’s iPhone 8 and 8 Plus phones have much better LTE chips than the others

“Since the launch of the iPhone 7 series of smartphones, Apple has built versions of its iPhones that are compatible with networks that utilize the CDMA standard, as well as versions that aren’t,” Ashraf Eassa writes for The Motley Fool. “Apple doesn’t build separate models like this for no reason. It wishes to dual-source cellular modems from both market leader Qualcomm and fast follower Intel, but Intel’s modems don’t yet support CDMA networks.”

“Tear-down reports have been published for both the Intel- and Qualcomm-powered versions of the new iPhones. The Intel-powered phones use Intel’s new XMM 7480 LTE modem, which was completely expected,” Eassa writes. “What wasn’t expected was that the Qualcomm-based iPhones use Qualcomm’s most capable standalone LTE modem, known as the Snapdragon X16. ”

“The Snapdragon X16 inside the Qualcomm-based iPhone 8 and 8 Plus offers higher peak download speeds than the XMM 7480 in the Intel-based iPhones — a gigabit per second for the Qualcomm modem, and just 600 megabits per second for the Intel modem,” Eassa writes. “At this point, it’s not clear if Apple is intentionally throttling the Qualcomm-based iPhones, or if the Qualcomm-based iPhones can achieve higher peak speeds than their Intel-based counterparts. Either way, the significant disparity in potential cellular capabilities between the Qualcomm-based iPhones and the Intel-based ones may explain why Apple avoided calling attention to the cellular capabilities of its new iPhones when it announced them.”

Read more in the full article here.

“The company hasn’t formally commented on the LTE capabilities of its new phones, and we’re going to have to wait until speedtests are run on compatible networks to know exactly what LTE technologies the iPhone 8 supports,” Chris Mills writes for BGR. “But given the notable omission of gigabit LTE, LAA, or LTE-U in Apple’s technical specs for the device, we can assume that the iPhone 8 won’t support any of them.”

“When Apple has used different components in different models in the past, it’s artifically limited the capabilities of one chip in order to give a consistent experience across devices,” Mills writes. From the phone maker’s perspective, it makes sense: it can’t sell a ‘better’ and ‘worse’ version of the phone for different networks, because that would destroy sales for those networks that only support the worse device. If Sprint and Verizon get the Intel-powered iPhones that can’t support gigabit LTE, customers are going to work that out, and only buy the iPhone 8 on T-Mobile and AT&T. That would cause all kinds of problems for Apple’s relationship with the networks.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As was the case with iPhone 7/Plus, it really doesn’t matter if the maximum capabilities aren’t exploited if they’re not sold as such.


  1. From a USA perspective: We know the iPhone 6s, 7, 8, X and iPad Pro are all able to use LTE Advanced, aka REAL 4G (versus mere ‘LTE’ phones that are technically only 3G phones).

    The problem is, where in the USA can use GET LTE Advanced?! Chicago, maybe, if you have Verizon. Otherwise: No where. LTE Advanced became a standard in April 2011, over six years ago, and we’re still waiting for US deployment. 💤💤


    Meanwhile, clowns chatter about 5G tech. Right. Check back in 3 years, maybe.

    LTE Advanced @Wikipedia

    Stupid, lazy cell phone services. 😛

    1. It’s not about practicality, it’s about bragging rights and marketing prowess. Samsung can laugh and say their smartphones are better than iPhones because have theoretical higher download speeds whether it works in practice or not. It’s always about mine is better than yours because of X.

      1. I sadly agree. I strongly suspect that the lack of REAL 4G in the USA has a lot to do with the bullshit ‘4G’ marketing champaign. If people are deluded enough to think they have 4G, then why bother with REAL 4G? Kinda sick.

        If, by some miracle, 5G deployment is accelerated due to the lack of REAL 4G deployment, that would be useful outcome.

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