Amid Apple’s ongoing legal battle with Qualcomm, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is now saying the company may be ditching Qualcomm’s baseband chips all together, 9to5Mac reports. Kuo said he expects Apple to use Intel’s chips exclusively in its 2018 iPhones since Intel chips now meet Apple’s technical requirements at a more competitive price, but he added Apple may be forced to return to Qualcomm if it turns out Intel can’t get ready for 5G networks fast enough. Previous reports claimed Qualcomm’s current 5G chips offer more specialized features, but sources said since many of those features won’t be widely adopted by carriers it’s likely Intel’s 5G modem will be more than sufficient for future iPhones.
Intel reportedly has “multiple thousands” of employees working on the technology, with sources calling the iPhone contract a “must-win” for the company. But Intel has also had its share of bad publicity around security vulnerabilities and slightly lower speeds as compared to Qualcomm chips when running Apple devices, so time will tell if Apple can make the switch to be fully off of Qualcomm’s products by 2018.