Even though Apple’s legal battle with Qualcomm is far from over, it looks like at least some iPhones next year will continue to use the chip maker’s LTE modems. According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s 2018 iPhone models will feature Intel’s XMM 7560 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X20 modems, both of which support the 4×4 MIMO technology. This year’s iPhone models lack support for 4×4 MIMO, putting them behind some flagship Android smartphones in the connectivity department.
New baseband chips from Intel & Qualcomm will significantly boost transmission speed of new 2H18 iPhone models thanks to supporting 4×4 MIMO antenna design: We believe that 2H18 new iPhones will upgrade baseband chips from Intel’s XMM 7480 and Qualcomm’s MDM 9655 in 2H17 to Intel’s XMM 7560 and Qualcomm’s SDX 20. As both new chips support 4×4 MIMO technology, compared to only 2×2 MIMO in 2H17, we anticipate LTE transmission speeds will increase significantly. We believe Intel will supply Apple with 70-80% or more of required baseband chips.
In addition to supporting higher LTE speeds, the 2018 iPhones could gain another feature that Apple has so far not been too keen on offering – dual-SIM support. Kuo has predicted that next year’s iPhone models will feature dual-SIM dual standby with support for LTE on both.
2H18 iPhone models won’t only offer faster LTE transmission speed: We predict that at least one of the 2H18 new iPhone models will support dual-SIM dual standby (DSDS). Unlike existing DSDS phones, which commonly support LTE+3G connections, we believe next-generation iPhone models will support LTE+LTE connections, in a bid to enhance the user experience.
Ming-Chi Kuo is one of the most respected analysts out there when it comes to Apple and has been quite accurate with his predictions in the past. So there is a good chance that his predictions regarding faster LTE modems and dual-SIM support might actually turn out to be accurate.