Amid the various stories about the iPhone X, Apple is now reported to be bringing new iPhone models in 2018 with dual-SIM support. The Cupertino company is also rumoured to be in talks with Intel to provide 5G modems on a future iPhone to deliver a faster experience. Supporting two networks with dual-SIM card slots is quite common among handsets developed by companies like Samsung and Xiaomi. But if we believe the latest research note by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone models that would be debuted in the second half of 2018, as the successors of the iPhone X, will include dual-SIM support with dual-standby technology. Kuo stated that unlike the existing dual-SIM offerings that generally had a combination of LTE and 3G connectivity, Apple was planning to bring support for two LTE networks concurrently to enhance user experience.
The note, as reported by Mac Rumors, also points to the expanded reliance on Intel for developing 70 to 80 percent of the baseband chips for future iPhone models. Kuo believes that Apple is particularly opting for Intel’s XMM7560 in addition to Qualcomm’s SDX 20 models to make wireless connectivity on the new iPhone versions faster than their existing models. FastCompany, in a separate report, claims that for a future iPhone model, Apple is opting for Intel 5G modems. Citing a source with a knowledge familiar to the development, the report highlights that instead of relying on Qualcomm to enable faster connectivity, Apple engineers are considering Intel’s 5G modem as the best-fit for the future iPhone. It is unclear whether the 5G-enabled iPhone model will be debuted in 2018. However, it appears certain that Apple is looking to reduce reliance on Qualcomm, thanks to its ongoing litigation. Earlier this month, Qualcomm had sued Apple for breaching its contract and allegedly sharing information with Intel for making broadband modems for its mobile devices.
A recent report by Reuters even suggested that 2018 iPhone and iPad models would debut sans Qualcomm’s modems. Moreover, Qualcomm last month filed the suits in a Beijing intellectual property court to halt the manufacturing and sales of iPhones in China. Nevertheless, 5G is something that Apple would need to adopt in the coming future to take on the competition. Qualcomm’s CEO Steven Mollenkopf recently projected that 5G smartphones would become mainstream across key markets in 2019. The San Diego-based company unveiled the Snapdragon 636 as its first 5G-supported mobile chipset last month that is likely to power a range of affordable Android smartphones in the coming future. The chipset was based on Snapdragon X50 5G modem that was showcased last year.
Countering Qualcomm, Intel previewed its 5G modem for mobile devices at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 earlier this year. The chip maker is also upgrading its existing 5G equipment to allow telecom companies run trials based on standards that will be released in future.