Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is now predicting that the 2018 iPhone modems will be exclusively supplied by Intel. If the prediction turns out to be accurate, it’s going to be a major blow for Qualcomm that’s not only a market leader in this segment but earns a significant chunk of its revenues from supplying baseband chips to Apple.

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The analyst predicts that the entire iPhone lineup that Apple is going to launch later this year will feature baseband chips from Intel and not Qualcomm. He has revised a previous prediction which suggested that Intel would only be given 30 percent of the order for cellular modems while Qualcomm would supply the remaining 70 percent.

Intel is believed to have made advancements to its chip technology which meet Apple’s performance standards, adding support for CDMA2000, dual-SIM, and dual-standby which make the chips ideal for a next-generation iPhone. Intel is also said to be offering more competitive pricing in a bid to capture market share.

Kuo also opines that shifting all orders to Intel might force Qualcomm into a diminished negotiating position in its ongoing legal battle with Apple. Not giving it any orders for 2018 iPhones would put pressure on Qualcomm that’s already having to make do with decreased licensing revenue because Apple has withheld royalty payments until the legal battle is resolved.

Nothing is set in stone, though, and Qualcomm might find itself back in Apple’s supply chain for baseband chips if Intel doesn’t deliver on performance or pricing promises. Apple may also want to diversify its supply chain and not rely on Intel entirely for baseband chips.

Filed in Apple >Cellphones. Read more about Qualcomm.

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