After years of working with Qualcomm as the sole provider of iPhone cellular modems, Apple made a shift this year and instead, bringing Intel on board as a second partner.
As a result of this change in personnel, it means Apple has two types of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. There is one model that has an Intel modem and another with a Qualcomm modem. This is good news for American company Intel as it has finally made its way to the most popular smartphone in the country, however, as things appear, this journey might not be long.
After various tests on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus handsets, it has been determined that the two types of LTE modems used in the phones do not give out the same level of performances. Tests show that iPhone 7 models that are packed with Intel modems deliver slightly slower data speeds, especially when in areas that have equally poor LTE coverage.
In a report brought forward by Cellular Insights, it appears that Qualcomm is way ahead of the game when it comes to cellular modems, something that can easily be attributed to the company’s long stay in the business. In the worst-case scenarios, the Intel modem was reportedly 40Mbps slower than what you get with the Qualcomm modem.
A look at the official Apple website will confirm that indeed each of these phones – iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus – come in two variants. There are model numbers A1660 and A1661 for the devices using a Qualcomm modem while those using the Intel modem carry model numbers A1778 and A1784.
One thing worth noting is that not all iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models will work on carriers. Apparently, those who get the Qualcomm model will be able to use it on any American carrier, be it Sprint, Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile, however, the units shipping with an Intel modem only work with AT&T and T-Mobile. As a result, those sold on the latter carriers are Intel variants while Verizon, Sprint, and the Apple Store sell those equipped with the Qualcomm modem.