Intel CEO Bob Swan discussed the company’s smartphone modem plans during Intel’s Q1 2019 earnings call. Swan indicated that his firm plans to supply 4G modems through 2019, including Apple’s 2019 iPhone lineup.
Swan said that the second version of Intel’s XMM 7660 modem will be ready for this fall, noting that the company currently expects to supply 4G modems through this year.
“Our expectation is we will continue to deliver on the 4G modem throughout the course of this year, including the second iteration of that product coming in the fall back to school season,” said Swan.
It appears Apple will use Intel modems in the 2019 iPhone lineup, as it is too late in the 2019 iPhone cycle for Apple to switch horses in mid-stream (move to Qualcomm as a modem provider).
However, considering Apple’s recent settlement with Qualcomm, it appears that going forward, Qualcomm will be the 5G modem supplier for Apple’s iPhone. Apple is reportedly developing its own 5G modem, but any usable results from that development is said to be years away.
Intel announced earlier this month that it is leaving the 5G modem business, as there was “no clear path to profitability” for its efforts.
Bob Swan told The WSJ, Intel’s Bob Swan that Apple’s settlement with Qualcomm led to Intel’s exit from the 5G market:
“In light of the announcement of Apple and Qualcomm, we assessed the prospects for us to make money while delivering this technology for smartphones and concluded at the time that we just didn’t see a path,” Mr. Swan said.
Intel has promised to “meet current customer commitments for its existing 4G smartphone modem product line.”