A teardown of the iPhone 8 by iFixit shows good news for Qualcomm, NXP, Broadcom, and Skyworks, who maintain or expand sockets in Apple's latest handset.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Apple continues to use a mix of Qualcomm and Intel LTE modems in its iPhone 8, according to early teardown reports. Broadcom gained an expected design win for a wireless charging chip, NXP hung on to its socket for near-field communications (NFC), and one analyst said that Skyworks may have slightly increased its content in the handset.
Overall, the iPhone 8 is an incremental step for Apple. The $999 iPhone X, which represents a bigger leap, will not ship until November. At press time, TechInsights was still working on a teardown of an iPhone 8 Plus and an Apple Watch 3.
A representative from TechInsights said, “The iPhone 8 Plus A1897 model [that] we purchased is an Intel-based phone. We see Intel’s Baseband Processor (Modem) PMB9948. We suspect that this is the Intel XMM7480 modem.” It is expected to publish its results online here in the next day or so.
TechInsights helped identify chips in iFixit’s teardown of an iPhone 8 purchased in Australia. They included on the front side of the L-shaped motherboard:
And on the card’s backside:
Apple was expected to continue to ship separate versions of its handsets using Qualcomm and Intel cellular modems in different geographies despite ongoing legal battles with Qualcomm over basebands and patents. TechInsights and others had speculated that STMicroelectronics was in the running for the NFC slots traditionally held by NXP.
Romit Shah, a financial analyst with Nomura Instanet, released a report saying that Skyworks may have exceeded his estimate of $7.07 content per handset in the iPhone 8. The teardown showed “what we believe to be an additional Skyworks component sitting near the Qualcomm transceiver” as well as what he believed is a SkyOne Ultra 3.0 power amp, an upgraded version of the device used in the iPhone 7.