Apple Inc. may be planning too give QUALCOMM, Inc. a little competition in the role of iPhone chip supplier, and as per a report, the tech giant is handing the job for certain models of the iPhone over to Intel Corporation . As per a report from Bloomberg, some versions of Apple’s next flagship will use an Intel wireless chip rather than a Qualcomm chip.
Intel Inside Some of Apple’s Next iPhone?
Citing a source, Bloomberg says the Verizon models in the US, as well as, the iPhones in China would keep their Qualcomm chips while the AT&T devices in the US would use an Intel chip. The iPhone maker depends on firms like Qualcomm to build the modems that connect the mobile devices to wireless carriers’ networks, but makes its own processors to serve as the brains of its devices.
Rumors of Intel providing chips for the iPhone have been there for quite some time. In April, during a call with analysts, Qualcomm CEO – Steve Mollenkopf – admitted that one of its big customers would be seeking a second supplier for some of its chips.
Not Surprising Move From Apple
Such a move from the iPhone maker does not seem shocking as it seeks to diversify its supplier base. To lower the risk, many tech firms source components from multiple manufacturers. For example, Samsung uses Qualcomm chips in many of its flagship phones, but at the same time, it sells some models with its own processors. However, sourcing chips from different places can cause discrepancies in the performance.
In addition, it is not quite clear how having different wireless chip providers will impact an unlocked iPhone or a global iPhone that one can take to any carrier they want. The iPhone 7 would also be the first major flagship iPhone powered by Intel wireless chip.
Welcome News For Intel
The first iPhone used chips from Infineon – a firm that Intel bought in 2010. However, Qualcomm has been the Apple Inc. ’s supplier of wireless chips. Meanwhile, Intel has struggled to gain stability in mobile devices. In April, the chip maker canceled its plans to release upcoming chips that act as the brains of mobile devices.
As per Forbes, the chip maker lost $4.21bn on its mobile business in 2014. Also, in April, the chipmaker announced to slash 12000 jobs – 11% of total jobs – as it seeks to refocus its efforts on cloud computing and IoT. The data center and IoT are now the primary “growth engines” for the chip maker, said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.
Nevertheless, it comes as good news for Intel, which has several next-gen mobile chips in the pipeline. As of now, there have been comments on the matter from Apple Inc. , Intel, and Qualcomm.
On Friday, Apple shares closed down 0.82% at $98.83. Year to date, the stock is down almost 8% while in the last one-year, it is down over 23%.