Intel now has a thousand people or more working to outfit a 2016 iPhone with its lauded 7360 LTE modem chip, sources say. If all goes well, Intel may end up providing both the modem and the fabrication for a new Apple system on a chip. […]
Apple may dual-source the LTE modems in its new iPhones from both Intel and Qualcomm. Today, Qualcomm’s 9X45 LTE chip is baked into all iPhone modems. […]
One source said Intel needs a small army of people on the Apple account because of the importance of the project to Apple’s future in the mobile market, because of the complexity of the project, and because Apple is a demanding client with an extremely popular phone.
You can be sure this modem meets a lot of Apple’s specific requirements, especially in terms of power. If any other OEMs purchase the same (or similar) part from Intel, they may benefit from some of those attributes, but not from all. When you’re as effective and important as Apple, you can shape product requirements in a way that helps you stay ahead of commoditization, even if others can technically buy the “same” part.
Sullivan’s sources also speculate that Apple may, eventually, integrate this modem into the system-on-a-chip (SoC). At that point, the combined function, power, and performance characteristics (of the modem alone) will be difficult for others to emulate.