Intel is likely to lose out on a key partnership with Apple where it currently manufactures the modes for all the iPhones in the market. Instead, Apple is likely to move to MediaTek for modems for its future iPhones. According to a report on Bloomberg, Gus Richard, a Northland analyst pointed out that MediaTek may display Intel as the company has been working on its own modem. The report pointed at Apples’ decision on phasing out Intel chips for Mac and did not dive much into details about the shift to MediaTek.
As noted by a report by MacRumors, we are not sure how accurate the report is as there are no details about it beyond mere indications. Apple or Intel have not issued any official statement or took any action that would indicate that they may indeed be parting ways when it comes to the iPhone modems. Even if Apple is planning to move away from Intel, it will likely be visible with the iPhones set to release in 2019 as supply deals for the 2018 iPhone models have already been established. According to the report that recaps how Apple teamed up with Intel, it is unlikely that it can completely move to MediaTek.
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The reason for this is because Apple is already planning to ditch Qualcomm for the iPhone after the royalty lawsuit against the semiconductor giant. Apple teamed up with Intel “a couple years ago” after solely depending on Qualcomm. Considering the number of iPhones that the company has to shit every year, it would be difficult to leave Intel in addition to Qualcomm and shift everything to MediaTek, a company that is still working on its own modems.
It is likely that the company may ditch MediaTek in the long run as it is already working on it’s on modem chips. It’s only a matter of time for the company to completely move to its own in-house offering instead of depending on Qualcomm, Intel, or MediaTek.