By Roger Fingas
Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 06:23 am PT (09:23 am ET)
Qualcomm on Wednesday revealed the Snapdragon X24, its latest LTE modem for mobile devices, with peak download speeds hitting 2 gigabits per second —though Apple may choose to forego the technology in its next iPhones.
The chip is the first Category 20 LTE modem to reach 2 gigabits, and the first to be made using a 7-nanometer process, Qualcomm claimed. Under ideal conditions it would be twice as fast as the company’s previous gigabit modem.
In practice the X24 is unlikely to hit those speeds, at least in the U.S. While it supports seven carrier aggregation, no domestic network has gone beyond three carrier aggregation so far.
The first devices with the chip should launch towards the end of 2018, which would be in time for Apple’s next iPhones —including a6.1-inch LCD model, and two OLED products sized at 5.8 and6.5 inches.
Intel is already supplying some iPhone modems however, and it’s rumored that Apple could cut Qualcomm out of the loop , given ongoing global legal battles over patents and royalties. In any case there’s a chance Apple will diversify its modem suppliers with the addition of MediaTek .