Apple is in the news for breaking opening sales record with its iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. But the iPhone maker has something more significant up its sleeve. According to the latest report from VentureBeat, Apple and Intel are working out a deal to put a new chipset inside the upcoming iPhone 7, which will use the chip maker's latest technology.
This comes as a great deal for Intel, which has been struggling to find itself a place in the smartphone market. Apple has long dealt with Qualcomm for all its chip needs for several generations but the new partnership with Intel will give the tech titan a second sourcing. VB cited a source talking about Apple and Qualcomm's rocky relationship.
"Second sourcing [finding a second supplier for] a major component might give Apple the upper hand in the relationship," the source told VB.
The Apple-Intel partnership will certainly put a dent in Qualcomm's business, which has established a dominant position in the smartphone chip industry with its Snapdragon series for high-end phones. The only other competitor close enough to Qualcomm is Taiwan's MediaTek. Samsung recently joined the smartphone chip race with its powerful and efficient Exynos chipset based on 14nm architecture, but it is still in its infancy.
According to VentureBeat sources, Intel's new 7360 chipset will power iPhone 7 smartphones sold in Asia and Latin America. The LTE chipset in question can produce 450mbps download and supports Cat. 9/10 LTE and 3X carrier aggregation.
With this, the iPhone 7 will likely boast a hexa-core processor configuration that will easily handle multiple tasks. Intel is already working on a chipset based on 10nm architecture, which will be the most efficient and powerful to date. Apple is currently dependent on Samsung and TSMC for fabricating its A series chipsets but Intel's chipset may change that.
Apple hasn't signed the deal officially but intends to do so if Intel meets the delivery milestone for the 7360 LTE chipset. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich revealed the new chipset will start shipping to manufacturers by the end of this year and be sold inside products in 2016, The Times of India reported. This timeline certainly matches Apple's iPhone 7 release, which is expected later next year.