Intel’s Infineon has not supplied baseband processors to Apple in years, but is interested in supplying chips for future iPhone models as part of an effort to replace Qualcomm.
Qualcomm currently supplies the wireless LTE chips found in Apple’s product lineup, including the iPhone 5s.
This partnership is not expected to change, but the talks are getting more serious between Intel and Apple for the 2015 iPhone. In a note sent to investors on Monday, Timothy Acuri of Cowen and Company said that Apple has “re-embraced Intel” and the two parties are talking about components for next-generation iPhone models.
Apparently, this could be a way to get better prices from Qualcomm too. It sounds unlikely that Apple will actually switch to Intel, Acuri believes Apple could make a switch to the WiFi/Bluetooth combo chip found in the iPhone — supplied by Broadcom.
Acuri said that he’s seen evidence that Qualcomm made “significant strides in his roadmap,” which could put it in a position to displace Broadcom in the next 2 years. Intel acquired Infineon for $1.4 billion in 2010, which made the company a chipmaker for the Apple iPhone temporarily.
Apple builds its own custom ARM-based central processors for the iPhone and iPad now. The last Apple handset to have an Intel Infineon baseband chip was the GSM iPhone 4, which launched in June 2010.
The CDMA iPhone 4 that debuted in early 2011 used a Qualcomm baseband chip and Qualcomm completely replaced Infineon starting with Apple’s iPhone 4S in October 2011.
Stock Tags: Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL), QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM)