Modem speeds are the last thing one looks out for before buying a smartphone, especially if the phone in question is iPhone we take the things for granted. Apple has for the first time used two different modems in its iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, some come with Qualcomm modems while the others are fitted with Intel ones. Apple has been sourcing the modems from Qualcomm for its iPhone from many years but this is the first time they have also considered Inte.

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The problem here is that a recent test on both the modems show that the data speeds on iPhone with Intel modem are slower. It was observed that both the modems performed at par when the LTE signal was good but when the signal was less the Intel modem struggled to pick up pace with the Qualcomm. Cellular Insights, the agency that tested the modems using a test rig that let them control the signals in a simulated environment.

The results depict how iPhone 7 with the Intel modem performed relatively worse in areas with poor signal, at its worst, the iPhone with the Intel modem was 40Mbps slower than the Qualcomm counterpart. However, the difference between the speeds narrows down as the signals start worsening. Qualcomm modems are usually found on contract bound iPhones across Verizon, Sprint and also some unlocked iPhones. Devices latched to other networks, however, work on the Intel chip. The iPhone with A1778 and A1784 are powered by Intel Modem while the A1660 and the A1661 have Qualcomm modems.

Well, the differences between the performance of different iPhone models are not something that startles us since it was uncovered earlier that the 32GB iPhones have sluggish performance as opposed to the higher storage variants. Also in previous iterations, we have seen different processors in different models. It is most likely that Apple will work with Intel and fix this issue with an update. In the meanwhile, some of my colleagues who own iPhone 7 Plus with an Intel modem were quick to point out that there was no noticeable drop in LTE speeds.


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Senior Author

Mahit Huilgol is a Mechanical Engineering graduate and is a Technology and Automobile aficionado. He ditched the Corporate boardroom wars in the favor for technology battle ground. Also a foodie by heart and loves both the edible chips and the non-edible silicon chips.