It’s easy to forget that Intel actually makes hardware for mobile devices, because there aren’t very many smartphones or tablets that are actually Intel-powered. The company has been making some significant improvements to its technology in order to compete with the likes of Qualcomm, but it still needs to secure contracts from smartphone makers in order to actually put its hardware into more devices. That’s why the company reportedly has a small army of people developing the chips that will help power the next-generation iPhone.
According to a report out of VentureBeat, Intel has built a team of more than 1,000 people to build chips for the next-generation iPhone. Specifically, Intel hopes to supply its 7360 LTE modem chip to Apple for the device, and if all goes well, even take part in the manufacturing. The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus both feature Qualcomm’s 9X45 LTE chip. Intel hopes to next year provide its modem for at least some of the iPhones Apple produces in 2016. Qualcomm is currently tasked with providing modems for all of Apple’s phones. Intel’s 7360 LTE modem is expected to begin shipping by the end of this year with device manufacturers beginning to implement it during 2016. Intel reportedly sees its partnership with Apple as crucial to its future in the mobile space. Obviously, Apple is a very demanding client with incredibly large-scale production, hence the need for over 1,000 employees on the account. It’s important to note, however, that Intel has yet to fully reach an agreement with Apple. At this point, Apple is still waiting to see if Intel can hit all of the milestones on the project before officially inking the agreement. Another possible reason that the deal has yet to be fully reached, however, is that the partnership may go deeper than just the LTE modem.