Back in January 2013 we posted a report titled "Apple Preparing Low Cost iPhone for Emerging Markets." We noted that there were rumors out of Asia's supply chain claiming that Apple was working on a low-cost version of the iPhone aimed at emerging markets with China being Apple's first focus. New information surfacing yesterday now supports the initial rumor.
According to a new report by VentureBeat, "Intel will provide the fast wireless modem chip for a new Apple smartphone in 2016." The thing is, this won't be a standard iPhone according to the report.
Intel has been gunning hard during the past year for a place in the iPhone and now appears to have succeeded, at least partly. The 7360 chip will ship inside a special version of the iPhone that will be marketed to emerging markets in Asia and Latin America," the sources said.
Intel's new 7360 LTE modem will occupy a socket on the new iPhone's circuit board that's long been reserved for Qualcomm chips. Intel's 7360 LTE modem chip is capable of 450 megabits per second (mbps) of download speed, and supports Category 9/10 LTE and 3X carrier aggregation. Industry analysts have told VentureBeat that the chip has impressed phone makers for being well built, power efficient, and fast.
For months Apple engineers have been making trips to Munich, Germany to work with Intel engineers to ready the Intel LTE chip for the iPhone, one of our sources said.
The report further noted that "The Intel facility in Munich is the former home of Infineon's communications chip business, which Intel acquired back in 2010. It's now the seat for research and development of Intel's next generation of LTE chips."
Time wrote in a new report today titled "Why Xiaomi Terrifies the Rest of the Tech World," that "Given the popularity of the iPhone 6 in China and across the globe, Apple seems to be immune for now to any threat posed by Xiaomi. But glance a few years down the road and it's not hard to imagine the Chinese manufacturer competing with the best products offered by the reigning king of Silicon Valley."
During a conference in November, Bruce Sewell, Apple's general counsel and senior vice president of legal and government affairs, told a panel discussion at the World Internet Conference that there are "many good competitive phones in China" in a nod to Xiaomi founder Lei Jun, sitting alongside him.
But when asked about Lei's previous claims that Xiaomi will become the world's market leader in smartphones, he said: "It is easy to say, it is more difficult to do," to laughter and applause from the audience in Wuzhen. Lei shot back: "In this magic land, we produced not only a company like Alibaba, but a small miracle like Xiaomi."
There's no doubt that the little train that could called Xiaomi has likely accelerated Apple's roadmap for an "emerging market" smartphone that could better compete in BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Today's revelations are very interesting indeed and will no doubt quickly catch the ears of those on Wall Street and beyond.