updated 07:55 am EST, Wed January 7, 2009
iPhone May Use Broadcom
Apple may be turning to Broadcom for the cellular hardware in future iPhone models, say Taiwan-area manufacturers allegedly aware of the changes. Although the company currently uses Infineon chips for the phone's core functions, the insiders claim to have seen circuit boards for either revised or future iPhones with unnamed Broadcom parts for the cellular baseband and RF functions. The swap could suggest a partial or complete replacement of Infineon for the next wave of Apple's devices.
What reasons or features Broadcom would bring to the handset are currently unknown. At present, the only modern and publicly disclosed 3G baseband chip from the company is the BCM2153, which is limited to 7.2Mbps HSDPA and lacks HSUPA or other more advanced technologies that are due to arrive with Infineon's X-GOLD 618 this year. Broadcom hasn't announced any updates to its own chipsets since.
Any switch would represent an upheaval in the cellular industry, where Infineon has become increasingly dependent on its iPhone contracts for a significant part of its cellphone revenue. A flip to Broadcom may hurt Infineon's business to the point where it may exit cellphone chips but is potentially an assist to the new contractor, which itself has had little recent success in getting large contracts.