Apple ‘Exclusively’ Using Inferior Modems For New iPhones
You should be excited about Apple ’s upcoming iPhones. There are new sizes, world-first technologies and big price cuts. But now one of Apple’s biggest partners has gone on the record to confirm they have one problem which cannot be fixed…
Picked up by CNet, Qualcomm financial chief George Davis used the company’s earnings call to reveal Apple has chosen to use objectively inferior hardware in core components of its new iPhones.
“Apple intends to solely use our competitor’s modems rather than our modems in its next iPhone release,” explained Davis.
This competitor is Intel and independent testing has repeatedly shown this month that Qualcomm modems deliver vastly better real-world 3G and 4G performance compared to Intel modems. For example, almost 500,000 user tests on T-Mobile and 570,000 user tests on AT&T showed typical download speeds to be 53-68% faster while worst-case download speeds were 97-192% faster.
These are not small numbers.
So why move? The reason is Apple and Qualcomm are currently involved in a long-running and increasingly acrimonious legal battle over patent infringements and royalty disputes. As such, rather than work it out, the two companies have parted ways and everyone – Apple, Qualcomm and each new iPhone buyer – loses. And it has been coming.
All of which is a great shame, especially with 5G on its way. This year Qualcomm will launch its first 5G smartphone modem, while Intel is a year behind – so this disparity looks set to continue for iPhone customers for years to come.
The news is a rare black mark on the upcoming iPhone range, which includes a second generation 5.8-inch iPhone X (details), massive 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus (details) and budget iPhone X-inspired model some are dubbing the ‘iPhone 9’ (details).
Yes, we know these new iPhones have some compromises and take risks but the modem debacle looks unfixable for generations. Perhaps this is partially why Apple has made the phones so much cheaper…
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