Intel to Produce ‘Significant Portion’ of LTE Modem Chips for iPhone 7

Source: MacRumors.com

CLSA Securities analyst Srini Pajjuri has corroborated multiple reports claiming that Intel will supply LTE modems for the iPhone 7, according to a research note obtained by NDTV.

Pajjuri said that Intel has secured a „significant portion“ of the LTE chips, likely in the range of 30 to 40 percent of production. Qualcomm will likely be tasked with the remaining orders.

While Apple is looking to cut some reliance on Qualcomm, the company doesn’t plan to completely turn away from the chipmaker. On the contrary, the analyst believes that the company will „share shift back“ to Qualcomm in 2017.

Intel reportedly has 1,000 or more employees working on preparing the Intel 7360 LTE modem for the iPhone 7 lineup. The 7360 LTE modem chip [PDF] from Intel features faster theoretical downlink speeds up to 450 Mbps, uplink speeds up to 100 Mbps, and support for LTE category 10 and 29 LTE bands overall.

In layman’s terms, that means the iPhone 7 could have even faster LTE speeds for browsing the web, downloading apps, streaming video, and other data-related tasks. Apple already improved LTE speeds on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus by adopting LTE-Advanced, which pushed downlink speeds up to a theoretical max of 300 Mbps.

Apple currently sources all of its LTE modems for iPhones from Qualcomm, including the MDM9635 chipset in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which offers theoretical downlink speeds up to 300 Mbps and uplink speeds up to 50 Mbps. Qualcomm has been Apple’s exclusive supplier of LTE modems for over three years.

In the future, Apple may create a system-on-a-chip that includes both an A-series processor and an LTE modem chip for improved speed and power management. Apple could license LTE modem intellectual property from Intel to achieve that goal, and the chip maker could also be tasked with fabricating the chipset based on its advanced 14-nanometer process.

Where is Apple’s 5K Thunderbolt Display?

It is approaching five years since Apple began shipping the Thunderbolt Display in September 2011, leading many to wonder when the monitor will receive a long-anticipated update, if ever.

Apple could have refreshed the Thunderbolt Display with USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 2 and a tapered iMac-style design as early as 2013, but it has chosen not to do that. The company continues to sell the 2011 27″ model with USB 2.0 and first-generation Thunderbolt ports for $999.

So, what has been the holdup? The answer likely lies in supply chain considerations and connectivity.

4K Thunderbolt Display

Many have been long hoping that Apple would release a 4K Thunderbolt Display, considering that the latest Macs, and most models refreshed since late 2013, can be used with at least one 4K display.

But, typically, standalone Apple displays have shared the same screens as iMacs. Since Apple skipped over a 4K 27″ iMac, Apple would have to source a separate screen to release a 4K Thunderbolt Display, and the product may be too niche for that to be worthwhile.

Meanwhile, with Thunderbolt 3 rolling out this year, it seems unlikely that Apple will bother with a refreshed non-4K Thunderbolt Display in the interim. So, as time goes on, the more likely possibility is that Apple will eventually release a much improved 5K Thunderbolt Display.

5K Thunderbolt Display

5K displays have an incredible 14.7 million pixels, resulting in sharper and crisper images, but they remain expensive. 5K models from Dell and HP retail for between $1,649 and $1,999, while Apple’s all-in-one 5K iMac starts at $1,799, but cannot be used in target display mode.

Apple already sells a 27″ Retina 5K iMac, and its screen could be the basis for a corresponding 5K Thunderbolt Display. The display could share the same 5,120×2,880 resolution, USB Type-C ports for connecting Thunderbolt 3 peripherals and possibly an ultra-thin design like the newest iMacs. But no current Macs could drive such a 5K display over a single cable.

Apple won’t release the first Macs with Intel’s new Skylake chips and Thunderbolt 3 support until later in 2016, and only those models will be able to drive a 5K display at 60Hz over one cable. While that makes a 5K Thunderbolt Display a possibility in 2016, Apple has good reason to wait until at least 2017.

Intel’s Skylake processors, launching in early 2016, and Kaby Lake processors, expected to launch in the first half of 2017, will not be able to drive a 5K Thunderbolt Display over Single-Stream Transport (SST). The underlying issue is that both processor lineups lack support for DisplayPort 1.3. Instead, the display would sync two channels over Multi-Stream Transport (MST), which can cause some performance issues. That means Apple may wait until at least Cannon Lake chipset (which promise SST 5K support) in the second half of 2017, before releasing a 5K Thunderbolt Display.

Because external displays are a relatively small market for Apple, it’s possible Apple never plans to introduce an updated Thunderbolt Display. If a new model is in the company’s plans, Apple will likely wait to introduce a 5K display until 2017 when most Macs can easily support it in order to maximize supply chain efficiency.

If you are interested in exploring third-party 4K displays, read our 4K and 5K Display Buyer’s Guide for Macs.

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Where is Apple’s 5K Thunderbolt Display?

Remix OS is the freakin’ awesome Android desktop you’ve been waiting for

Android has long been available on desktops in some form, but it has never been done right. That’s going to change later this month with Remix OS, a platform that brings Android to almost any Mac and PC — and makes it usable by adding a familiar desktop interface. Most other Android-for-desktop solutions have put […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Remix OS is the freakin’ awesome Android desktop you’ve been waiting for

Apple’s New Hardware Chief Johny Srouji Awarded Nearly $10 Million in Stock

Apple’s newly promoted Senior Vice President of Hardware Technologies Johny Srouji was awarded 90,270 restricted stock units on October 5, 2015, according to a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The RSUs awarded vest 12.5% in semi-annual installments over a four year period ending October 2019.

Srouji now has a total of 217,305 RSUs and 101,881 common stock units, which together amount to just over $34 million at AAPL’s current trading price of around $107 per share. The latest batch of 90,270 RSUs are currently valued at approximately $9.6 million.

Apple often rewards high-level executives with RSUs based on their performance. In August, for example, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue received 560,000 and 350,000 RSUs respectively worth over $97 million combined. Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts also received 113,334 RSUs as a signing bonus upon joining Apple in May 2014.

Srouji was promoted to Senior Vice President of Hardware Technologies on December 17, as part of a larger executive team makeover that saw Jeff Williams promoted to COO and marketing chief Phil Schiller take over App Store leadership across all Apple platforms. Tor Myhren, chief creative officer at ad agency Grey, will also join Apple in early 2016 as Vice President of Marketing Communications.

Srouji joined Apple in 2008 to lead development of the A4 chip for iPhone 4, and he now oversees silicon and hardware technologies, including batteries, application processors, storage controllers, sensors silicon, display silicon and other chipsets across Apple’s entire product line. Prior to Apple, he held senior positions at Intel and IBM in the areas of processor development and design.

Tags: AAPL, Johny Srouji, SEC, RSUs
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Apple’s New Hardware Chief Johny Srouji Awarded Nearly $10 Million in Stock

Galaxy S7 to Feature Pressure-Sensitive Display Similar to 3D Touch

Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge due early next year will feature a pressure-sensitive display that functions similarly to 3D Touch on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The next-generation Android-based smartphones will reportedly also feature high-speed USB-C ports that provide up to a full day’s charge in under 30 minutes, and improved cameras that are optimized for low-light photography.

The report claims the Galaxy S7 will look similar to the Galaxy S6, but the rear-facing camera is said to be flush with the back of the device. The handset may also feature a retina scanner for new biometric features involving a user’s eyes.

The Wall Street Journal says the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge will launch in the U.S. in March, possibly around the time Apple introduces the so-called „iPhone 6c“ and next-generation Apple Watch. Samsung is expected to announce the new devices around the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona in late February.

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge would compete with the rumored „iPhone 7,“ which could ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of an all-in-one Lightning connector alongside a faster A10 chip, new Intel LTE modem and possibly thinner design. Apple’s next flagship smartphones will likely be released next September.

Tags: Samsung, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge
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Galaxy S7 to Feature Pressure-Sensitive Display Similar to 3D Touch