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:
- An Apple 339S00434 A11 Bionic SoC stacked with an SK Hynix H9HKNNNBRMMUUR 2-GB LPDDR4 RAM
- A Qualcomm MDM9655 Snapdragon X16 LTE modem
- A Skyworks SkyOne SKY78140
- An Avago 8072JD130
- A P215 730N71T believed to be an envelope tracking IC
- A Skyworks 77366-17 quad-band GSM power amplifier module
- An NXP 80V18 secure NFC module
And on the card’s backside:
- A Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM radio module marked Apple/USI 170804 339S00397
- A chip marked Apple 338S00248, 338S00309 PMIC, and S3830028
- A Toshiba TSBL227VC3759 64-GB NAND flash
- A Qualcomm WTR5975 Gigabit LTE RF transceiver and PMD9655 PMIC
- A Broadcom 59355 believed to be a wireless charging IC
- A NXP 1612A1 assumed to be an upgrade of its 1610 Tristar IC
- A Skyworks 3760 3576 1732 RF Switch and SKY762-21 247296 1734 RF Switch
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.
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The front of the iPhone 8 mainboard. Click to enlarge. (Images: iFixit)