iPhone 7 Plus modems analyzed, Qualcomm deemed better than Intel

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have cellular modems from two sources, the first time modem sourcing has been diversified for the device series. Qualcomm provided CDMA-capable chips — to wit, it is the X12 LTE modem that can be found on the Snapdragon 820 — for iPhones destined for the US, China and Japan while other territories got iPhones with Intel modems.

Intel is said to be using this opportunity to gun for more chip contracts with Apple and other manufacturers in the future.

It always seems like whenever we’re trying to place parity on performance of one part of an iPhone sourced from two companies, one has to be the winner and one has to be the loser. In the case of Cellular Insights‘s analysis, it turns out that the Qualcomm units (MDM9645M) outperform the Intel units (XMM7360) when it comes to the very commonly deployed LTE Bands 4 and 7 and the key low-frequency LTE Band 12.


Performance is measured with a comparison of throughput to signal levels. As measured in comparable iPhone 7 Plus units, in all three bands, we see a 30 percent performance tip to the X12 against the CEVA processing power of the Intel unit. The weaker the signal, the wider the performance gap — stronger signals saw comparable performance, but the falloff can reach as high as 75 percent.

band4-768x511Another weird note that furthers the disparity seen here: while T-Mobile and Telstra have implemented advanced Quadrature Amplitude Modulation technologies, both receive the Intel-equipped iPhone 7 which do not support it. The Qualcomm modems do.


More about the controls implemented in the Cellular Insights test can be found at the source.

Source: Cellular Insights
Via: Phone Scoop

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.