Intel has been sounding the x86 everywhere drum for many years now but so far its mobile efforts have seen little success. While an Intel processor inside high-volume smartphones is still not on the table, it appears Intel may get its first major success in the mobile market via its modem division. EE Times reports there's reason to believe that Apple's upcoming iPhone, due to launch September 9th, will use an Intel modem for roughly 50 percent of shipments. The design win is expected to contribute close to $1 billion in revenue for Intel in calendar year 2016.
Jeff Sheley, a Northland analyst, wrote: “We now believe that Intel will capture roughly 50% of Apple’s modem business in the upcoming iPhones due to launch September 9th.”
He added, “This is a marquee win for Intel and would go a long way to reducing [its] mobile business losses.”
If true, this is a real breakthrough for Intel, which has struggled for more than 15 years to break into the mobile phone market.
Not everyone is buying the story though, other analysts believe the chances of Intel ending up in the iPhone 6S are very slim:
Kevin Krewell, principal analyst at Tirias Research, is dubious. He told EE Times, “Qualcomm has the best modem technology in the market and the iPhone 6S is a premium phone. I can't see Apple settling for second best technology.”
Krewell added, “The only role I can see for Intel's modem would be a second tier phone like an iPhone 5C replacement, which could be reasonable volume, but at a much lower average selling price.”