Apple’s upcoming iPhones won’t support gigabit LTE speeds just yet: Report

12 Jun

By Anmol Sachdeva, The Tech Portal

Apple just wrapped its annual developer extravaganza earlier this week and is now gearing up to unveil its next-gen iPhones in the coming September. The long-awaited iPhone 8, which is expected to receive a complete overhaul over previous iterations, will also make its official debut on stage.

But, a fresh report from Bloomberg suggests that it may not have the fastest connection speeds due to its ongoing clash with leading chipmaker Qualcomm. This means the iPhone, which the masses expect to debut latest technologies, is going to lag behind its arch-nemesis Android on the said front even when U.S-based telecom carriers have started upgrading their network to support such high speeds — 100 times faster than before. These are also known as gigabit LTE speeds.

If you don’t know yet, Apple sources most of its internal components from more than one supplier not only to keep the pricing war alive (to get a better deal), but also meet the demands of the market — people lining up for the newest iPhone outside Apple stores. It is known to source modem chips from both Qualcomm and Intel, pitting both major American chipmaker against each other.

There is no point debating that Apple has been looking to bake an LTE modem into the next iPhone 8, which is available with both the companies — but one is way powerful and speedy than the other. Qualcomm is currently the only chipmaker who has enabled a feature-set capable of delivering gigabit LTE speeds with its X16 modem. Intel, on the other hand, is close but still has a pretty long way to go before it comes close to enabling features similar to Qualcomm on its modem chips. They won’t come until Apple iPhone 8’s release later this fall.

This development stems from the fact that Apple and Qualcomm are currently embroiled in a nasty lawsuit, where the former has accused the latter for maintaining an illegal monopoly on smartphone modems. Cupertino took a stand against the chipmaker and lodged a billion lawsuit against them for being charged unfairly for the patents they had nothing to do with. This was followed by unfair trade practice charges across the globe — specifically in China and South Korea.

Also, Samsung and Intel have recently backed Apple’s FTC complaints against Qualcomm, saying that the chipmaker has definitely exploited its dominant position in the market to strong arm hardware makers into paying overwhelming large royalty checks. It has started retaliating against Apple with lawsuit against four manufacturers that make iPhones for Apple Inc. It says that they’ve failed to pay royalties on the licensed technology, after they received instructions from Apple not to do so.

The end results, however, Bloomberg says will see Apple use both the modem chips but downplay the Qualcomm one — not offering the gigabit LTE speeds. This will be done because Cupertino wants to enable a similar experience across all of its iPhone 8 devices– be it powered by the Intel or the Qualcomm chip. It cannot bifurcate its user base based on wireless speeds, where some enjoy super fast LTE speeds while others lag behind.

Apple’s investors don’t seem to much impressed with Bloomberg’s report about the company’s upcoming iPhone 8 — which has the world’s eyeballs glued to the launch. While the initial shock came as a 1.6 percent drop in the share prices, but as the developments sinked in the share prices began to spiral down way further. It has witnessed a massive 3.9 percent downgrade in the share price in the previous day. It is now trading at close to $149.