Shares of chipmaker Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) registered a nice price pop following speculations about it supplying smartphone chips to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). It emerged that the company could partially or totally replace Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) the preferred supplier iPhone chips. Reports further cited that Apple engineers have been working alongside Intel engineers in Germany to get things moving about Intel inside iPhone.
Rumors surfaced that Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) could be behind fast wireless chips inside a new version of iPhones in the coming years. Apple is reportedly readying a special iPhone for the emerging Asian and Latin American markets. The new iPhone could start shipping by 2016 if the speculations are true.
Apple could make universal switch
While the initial reports indicated that Intel could only partially replace Qualcomm in iPhone chips supplies, more details seem to point to a total replacement. Some analysts have noted that it makes sense for Apple to make a universal switch to Intel’s modem chips than fragmenting the wireless chip supply for iPhones.
The reason Apple is seeking Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) for iPhone chips supplies is that the relationship between the company and its long-time chip supplier Qualcomm has become uneasy. If Apple shifts iPhone chips contract even partially to Intel, the move is expected to come as a major setback for Qualcomm. The company has been behind iPhone chips for many years, enabling it to maintain a lead in the mobile chips market where Intel is only struggling to gain ground.
The chip in question
Intel’s mobile chip expected to feature in the special iPhone is a new 7360 LTE modem. The chip, which is being developed at Intel’s research center in Munich, Germany, could start shipping to phone manufacturers later this year. The 7360 wireless chip has been described as power-efficient and fast, able to upload at 450Mbps speed.
Intel’s mobile strategy
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) is trying hard to gain a footing in the lucrative mobile chip market. The company made a late move into the segment, denying it an opportunity for an early gain. However, by pushing out powerful but cheap chips, Intel hopes to woo budget smartphone makers.