IPhone X Modem Performance Compared: Qualcomm vs Intel [Chart]

Joanna Estrada
December 2, 2017

Qualcomm [corporate website] filed three lawsuits [complaint, PDF; complaint, PDF; complaint, PDF] against Apple [corporate website] Thursday, seeking compensation for alleged patent infringement. In an LTE speed test that we covered last month comparing the two versions of the iPhone X, the Intel modem won out, despite being beaten by Qualcomm on the iPhone 7 Plus. So Cellular Insights tested the other two on LTE Band 4, which PCMag explains is the band used by every major U.S. carrier except for Sprint.

Looking at the results, the Qualcomm modem appears to perform better than the intel modem, but the difference between the two looks smaller than it was past year.

Armed with top-shelf network testing equipment, research firm Cellular Insights took both the A1865 and A1901 models of the iPhone X, and blasted them with LTE signal of varying strength.

PCMag notes that customers are most likely to notice the difference between the two devices in weak signal conditions.

The complaint helps support Qualcomm's argument that Apple uses more of its technology than just the modem and that other aspects of the iPhone are helped by Qualcomm innovations.

It's an interesting report, and you should give the whole thing a look if you're into things like deep dives on cellular modem performance. If you've got an Intel-powered iPhone and you've been fine with the performance so far, then you probably don't need to worry, especially if you're outside of your return window for the device. Apple believes the fee should be based on a percentage of the Qualcomm modem that goes into the iPhone, while the chipmaker believes the percentage should be based on the value of the entire phone.

Another option is to buy an unlocked iPhone directly from Apple. Payments for damages have been unspecified, but Qualcomm could be looking to but a brake on the iPhone X sales momentum unless Apple hires the LTE chip maker as the only supplier of the aforementioned component.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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