New rumors are mounting that Apple may be using a baseband chipset–for the iPhone’s radio–from Qualcomm on the next-generation iPhone model that will succeed the iPhone 4. Apple has used an Infineon solution in the past, and that company was recently acquired by Intel; Intel’s CEO had also stated publicly following the acquisition announcement that he had consulted with Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs prior to the purchase of Infineon and had received Jobs’ approval.
Whether the shift from Infineon’s–and Intel’s–baseband chipset is due to a bitter spat that the Intel had with Apple in the past or if it’s due to the company wanting to standardize on hardware for a simultaneous CDMA iPhone is unclear; Intel’s employees have bashed the iPhone’s use of an ARM-based CPU over the company’s Atom processor in the past, but company officials have since retracted any unauthorized statements made by its engineers.
The Qualcomm speculation confirms an earlier rumor that Apple was ordering large quantities of processors from Qualcomm. Qualcomm makes both baseband processors as well as integrated SoC solutions like the Snapdragon chipsets. It would be unlikely that Apple would transition over to a Snapdragon CPU as the company has invested considerable work in developing its own A4 processor after acquiring PA Semi and Intrinsity in the mobile CPU space.
Additionally, if it’s true that Apple is working with Qualcomm, this recent rumor will re-ignite the persistent rumor of an iPhone on Verizon Wireless. Qualcomm is responsible for much of the CDMA technology employed by Verizon and its rival carrier Sprint. A switch from Infineon to Qualcomm for the GSM variant of the phone could help Apple to standardize a lot of the hardware implementation to build a CDMA iPhone for Verizon and/or Sprint in the U.S. Moreover, as Apple’s giving up sole carrier exclusivity arrangements in Europe for the iPhone, it wouldn’t be unlikely to see the iPhone cropping up on other carriers in the U.S.–the question of when this would happen still remains.
(via: Unwired View)