Wait, you ask-if Apple hired Intel's staff, why it does not just go ahead and make its own modems, the way it makes its own processors? Patience, Grasshopper; the company certainly intends to do that, but a few years from now, so it's made a supply agreement with Qualcomm in the interim. Apple's modems starting in 2022 or 2023.
Analyst Patrick Moorhead points out that the lack of a 5G modem will hurt sales in China, but between the collapse of Intel's modem business, the new agreement with Qualcomm, and Apple wants to release a 5G device at the same time, Apple is just going to take the hit there.
That will shake out by late 2020. At that point, we'll probably have the next-generation Qualcomm modem, which wants to support all four carriers' short-range and long-range 5G networks. We'll have a lot of broader buildouts, so people can actually use their phones on 5G. Then Apple wants to star in Qualcomm's latest kit.
No 5G? Intel's XMM 7660 4G modem, although that's going to wait for teardowns.
So what does that mean, in terms of connections? [19659002AccordingtoAppletheiPhone11Prohas"gigabitclassLTEwith4x4MIMOandLAA"butso"fastergigabit-classLTE"thantheiPhoneXS
The Qualcomm X20 and X24 modems, like the move between the Samsung Galaxy and the Xbox 360, have a lot of potential S9 and S10 generations. The iPhone XS Max had the same LTE performance as the Galaxy S9 +, according to data from Speedtest Intelligence. If the iPhone 11 Pro jumps up to the Galaxy S10 + 's level, that means it's going to see more than a 20 percent jump in average US LTE speeds over the XS and XS Max.
The iPhone 11, meanwhile, has "gigabit class LTE with 2×2 MIMO and LAA. " The lack of 4×4 MIMO means performance will be slower than on the more expensive phone. Using Speedtest Intelligence, I found that there's about a 20 percent difference in average speeds between the iPhone XR (with 2×2 MIMO) and iPhone XS (with 4×4) … so it's likely that the iPhone 11 wants to be at least 20 percent slower than the iPhone 11 Pro.
Apple is supporting the EVS codec for the best possible voice quality, but that's par for the course with flagship phones nowadays, and has been on iPhones since the iPhone 8 series.
Apple gives some more details on its product pages.
The iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max still come in three different models each: one for the US and Canada, one for China, and one for everywhere else. The primary difference is that the "US" model supports LTE band 14, AT & T's FirstNet band for government employees, and band 71, T-Mobile's long-range band; LTE band 28, a low-frequency LTE band commonly used in Europe.
CBRS support is new in this year's models. Verizon has said it will provide extra capacity in crowded areas, so if they help, they might help.
All three models support dual SIM, with one physical nano SIM and one eSIM. The phone's primary line can be from any carrier; in the US, T-Mobile, Truphone, or Verizon. [Apple has a full list of its eSIM carriers on its website.]
More details are coming out through teardowns and testing. But it's safe to say this year's models are incremental, not radical improvements over iPhone XS and XS Max performance. The radical new iPhone is coming in 2020.
This article originally published at PCMag