Although the latest Apple smartphones (NASDAQ: AAPL) – the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X – seem to be working well in the market, next year's lineup should be even more competitive.
iPhones 2018 will surely have significant capacity improvements in all areas, and in this column, I would like to review two of the most interesting, and related. .
Image source: Apple.
Faster, more efficient cellular technology
This year's iPhones support download speeds in cellular networks of up to 600 megabits per second and upload speeds per cell of up to 150 megabits per second.
For most users, those speeds should be good enough, but there's no denying that Apple is one step behind other flagship smartphone vendors, who currently offer devices with theoretical maximum cell speeds of 1 gigabyte downloads per second (ie 1000 megabits) and load of 150 megabits per second
This limits Apple's ability to promote the wireless capabilities of their phones, as it would make it easier for competitors to use that disparity against Apple on their own marketing.
Next year, according to the generally reliable badyst KGI Securities Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will use updated cellular modems of Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) and Qualcomm (NASDAQ ): QCOM) respectively, as well as new antenna designs, to allow Gigabit LTE speeds.
It is not only the maximum theoretical speed that will improve with these new modems; they should also be much more energy efficient, which could translate into a better battery life, particularly in cases of cell phone use.
The Qualcomm X16 modem within Qualcomm-based iPhones is built using Samsung (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF) The 14nm LPP manufacturing technology and the Intel XMM 7480 modem within the Intel-based iPhones are built using an earlier 28nm manufacturing technology from the manufacturer of an unspecified chip.
iPhones are expected next year to use Intel's XMM 7560 LTE modem, which is manufactured using the company's 14nm internal technology. This migration of manufacturing technology should mean better modem chip efficiency and, ultimately, the battery life of Intel-based iPhones.
from Apple Image source: Apple.
iPhones based on Qualcomm are also expected to obtain energy efficiency improvements related to manufacturing technology next year, too. It is expected that the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem for the next generation of Qualcomm-based iPhones will be manufactured using Samsung's 10nm LPE technology, which is more efficient than the previous generation of 14nm LPP technology.
The efficiency gap between Samsung's 14nm LPP and Samsung's 10nm LPE is nowhere near as wide as that between 28nm cast technology and Intel 14nm technology, but it will still be an improvement .
If Apple sells this update to consumers correctly, it will speed up cellular speed and potentially better battery life thanks to more efficient modems could be interesting selling points for iPhones 2018.
Best Wi-Fi Fi
It's not just the speed of the cells that will be boosted in iPhones next year; Apple is likely to use a new Wi-Fi / Bluetooth combo chip from the old provider Broadcom (NASDAQ: AVGO) to give them a significant capacity upgrade.
This year's iPhones, by TechInsights, are using a chip known as BCM4361, which is already a next-generation Wi-Fi / Bluetooth combination chipset that meets all the requirements: 802.11ac with 2×2 MIMO support (this helps boost Wi-Fi performance) and Bluetooth 5.0 Capability.
Apple has not much promoted the Wi-Fi capabilities of its iPhones in recent product cycles, but judging by the aggressiveness of the company in adopting the latest technology, quality on that front is something that matters to the company .
I think iPhones next year will use the connectivity combination chip BCM4375 recently announced by Broadcom. The main update offered by this chip is compatible with the new Wi-Fi 802.11ax standard, which should mean even faster transfer speeds. (For those interested in such things, this article offers more technical details 802.11ax.)
The new technology is nice, but Apple must sell it
While the annual cadence of improvements in the specification of the iPhone is certainly welcome, the fact is Apple can not simply rely on more advanced technologies to sell them: it needs to properly market the improvements to help customers understand why they should pay more to get the latest models. That's why I suspect that Apple will spend much more time during its iPhone launch launching 2018 talking about the generational improvements in wireless capabilities that the next iPhones will offer compared to their 2017 and perhaps even 2016 counterparts.
Ashraf Ebada owns shares of Intel and Qualcomm. The Motley Fool owns Apple stock and recommends its use. The Motley Fool owns shares of Qualcomm and has the following options: through January 2020 $ 150 calls to Apple and short of January 2020 $ 155 calls to Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Broadcom Ltd and Intel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.