In a blow to Qualcomm, Apple appears to have confirmed earlier reports that Intel will supply baseband chips for as many as half of the iPhones sold by the company, the Wall Street Journal said Friday.
With the release of its iPhone 7 specifications last Wednesday, Apple disclosed that some models of the new device will not come with CDMA cellular technology that Qualcomm bakes in to its baseband chipsets. The technology is used by U.S. wireless carriers Verizon and Sprint; fellow tier-1 carriers AT&T and T-Mobile, however, use GSM technology.
Analysts have interpreted Apple’s specifications to mean Qualcomm chips will be used for Apple’s CDMA models, while Intel chips will be used for GSM models, the Wall Street Journal said. The baseband chip was the last component in Apple’s iPhone to become dual-sourced, Cowen & Co. analyst Timothy Arcuri told the Journal. Qualcomm was previously the sole supplier.
The Wall Street Journal said analysts have forecast Intel chips could be present in up to half of all iPhone 7 handsets sold.
The specifications pointed out by the Wall Street Journal appear to confirm a June report from Bloomberg that broke news of Intel’s new deal with Apple.
Arcuri said Intel could rake in between $500 million to $700 million by the end of 2016 through its supplier deal with Apple.