Information about the imbroglio involving Apple, Intel and Qualcomm.
As we already mentioned, the relationship between Apple and Intel was very strange because of the difficulty in creating modems for iPhones. That obstacle eventually forced Apple, which until then was in a legal dispute with Qualcomm, to make peace with its former modem supplier – which ended up culminating in Intel’s decision to exit the 5G smartphone modem market.
Today the The Information brought some more information about this story.
Problems with Intel
According to them, Apple’s problems with Intel started long before the development of the 5G modem for iPhones. In fact, Apple’s frustration would have started in early 2017, already in the development of the XS, XS Max and XR iPhones.
The 7560 modem, created by Intel to equip the devices, was not working properly according to two people on the subject. Intel had already overhauled the modem four times to match Qualcomm’s, but non-compliance with deadlines and technical problems with the chip just didn’t end and made Apple executives anxious.
At a meeting on Apple’s campus, Johny Srouji (head of the company’s hardware) reportedly said the following sentence to Murthy Renduchintala (head of engineering at Intel): «This would never have happened at Apple under my watch.»
Still according to the The Information, the size and structure of Intel’s mobile division made it difficult to create modems, with teams basically struggling to work together.
Furthermore, Intel itself confirmed to the The Information that Apple was interested in acquiring Intel’s 5G modem division, but that everything did not go as expected.
The difficulty of creating a modem
As we know, Apple’s deal with Qualcomm involves not only providing modems for iPhones but also licensing technologies, which is a must for Apple as it plans to create its own modems at some point. It’s the The Information also brought information on that subject.
Initially, it was expected to see Apple starting using its own modems in 2021; the vehicle, however, stated that this period seems to be much more distant than initially thought. How far? According to them, an internal forecast by Apple is that the component will be placed on the market only in 2025.
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Regardless of when the modem will be launched, the fact is that now iPhones will once again be on a par with 4G / LTE performance, thanks to Apple’s recent agreement with Qualcomm.