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No Qualcomm inside the Apple iPhone XS

ifixit iphonexs board

The latest Apple iPhones are a Qualcomm-free zone according to people who have taken them to pieces.

Technology repair site iFixit did its usual thing of carefully disassembling the new iPhone XS to see what’s inside and there was no sign of Qualcomm. No Qualcomm modem, baseband, RF transceiver or even sensors. There is an NXP NFC controller though (too soon?).

This doesn’t come as a great surprise as the move had been rumoured at the start of this year, when litigation between the two was especially vigorous, and Qualcomm had indicated it feared the worst in a subsequent quarterly call. But this outright snub by the world’s most significant smartphone player is still a pretty negative moment for Qualcomm.

The big beneficiary is Intel, which has been in the modem game since the acquisition of Infineon a few years ago but has struggled to steal significant share from Qualcomm. We wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Intel had almost given its components away to Apple, such is the importance of Apple’s switch to its mobile efforts.

As you can see from the following screenshots of the iPhone XS RF board from the iFixit site there is a complete absence of anything Qualcomm. The logic board is dominated by Apple’s own ARM-based chips, as has been the case for while, but until now Apple  had felt compelled to stick with Qualcomm for radio stuff. It will be interesting to see if users notice any difference in performance.

ifixit iphonexs screen 1

ifixit iphonexs screen 2


One comment

  1. Michael 25/09/2018 @ 6:46 am

    Im using iPhone XS MAX since yesterday and I
    already see the difference in performance
    In Times Square , New York (highly congested area ) and in a couple of low signal buildings. people are complaining that my side is cutting in and out.

    I never had such complaints in Times Square or in the same low signal buildings when using the Qualcomm modem version of iPhone 7 Plus ! (7 plus has 2 antennas and my current iPhone XS
    Max has 4 antennas!

    Please reach the Apple and demand to start using Qualcomm or Samsung modems in their $1000+ phones! From all smartphone manufacturers, only Apple has issues of paying royaltee fees to Qualcomm and working with Qualcomm. No other brand has issues of working with Qualcomm!

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