Apple will use Intel chips over Qualcomm's for some versions of the iPhone 7, Bloomberg reports. The development would be significant for Intel, which has seen serious setbacks in its mobile ambitions this year.
Intel said it does not comment on rumors, while Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Apple is turning to Intel modem chips for versions of the iPhone used on AT&T's U.S. network and some used in overseas markets in an effort to diversify its supplier base, Bloomberg reports, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter. Apple will reportedly still use Qualcomm chips for phones on the Verizon network and iPhones sold in China.
When Intel CEO Brian Krzanich took the helm of the company in 2013, he emphasized Intel's focus on the mobile market, and over the past three years the company spent more than $10B to gain a foothold in mobile. In April of this year, Intel announced it was hiring Dr. Venkata "Murthy" Renduchintala from Qualcomm, which would seemingly help its mobile prospects. Yet just weeks later, Intel announced it was canceling upcoming Atom smartphone chips code-named Broxton and Sofia, a move that was seen as effectively giving up on the smartphone market.
For Apple, diversifying its suppliers for the iPhone, which brings in the bulk of its revenue, is a clearly smart business move.