The iPhone 7 might deliver faster wireless speeds than ever before and we might have Intel to thank. According to a CLSA research note seen by NDTV, Intel has already secured up to 40% of LTE chips supply for the iPhone 7. The chipmaker has a cellular chip (XMM 7360 LTE) that’s ready to deliver LTE Cat. 10 speeds – that means download speeds of up to 450Mbps download and upload speeds of up to 100Mbps.
Comparatively, the iPhone 6s series supports LTE Advance speeds of up to 300Mbps (download). Apple’s rivals, including Samsung, LG and HTC, already have handsets that can deliver theoretical download speeds between 450Mbps and 600Mbps over LTE, including the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S6, Galaxy Note 5, LG G4, LG G5 and HTC One M9.
Naturally, theoretical data speeds are one thing and actual real life performance is quite another. However, the faster the LTE modem in a smartphone, the better the LTE experience will be in the future as LTE infrastructure improves.
A report last year claimed that Apple was looking into using Intel’s 7360 LTE modem in its iPhone 7. The move is partly meant to cut reliance on Qualcomm, which is going to win the remaining LTE orders for the iPhone 7 series. However, CLSA’s Srini Pajjuri says Apple doesn’t plan to cut ties with the company saying that Apple will “share shift back” to Qualcomm in 2017. Qualcomm was the exclusive LTE modem supplier for the iPhone for the past three years.
Apple has not designed its LTE modem for the A-series system-on-a-chip yet. But MacRumors speculates the company might license Intel intellectual property to create such an A-series chip so that it can improve speed and power management of future iPhones.