Apple is known to use different components with comparable performance for its devices as a means to diversify its supply chain. Last year, Chipworks discovered that there were two different sized A9 chipsets in the iPhone 6s with the TSMC-made chipset performing better. With the iPhone 7, Apple is once again revealed to be using two different suppliers for the modems.
Phone testing firm Cellular Insights revealed that there are two different modems found in the iPhone 7 models; one uses the Qualcomm modem while the other is using the Intel modem. The firm ran a series of tests to determine which modem would deliver better performance.
Across the board, the iPhone 7 with the Qualcomm modem had stronger connections to the mobile network and outperformed its Intel counterpart by 30 percent. If placed under real world usage conditions, this could mean faster download speeds and stronger connections in more places.
So how do you know if your iPhone 7 model has the Qualcomm or Intel modem? There are two ways to find out. Only iPhone 7 models sold in the U.S, China and Japan come with the Qualcomm modems. iPhone 7 units with model numbers A1778 and A1784 have the Intel modems. You can check for these model numbers on the back of your iPhone 7.
At the time of publication, Apple, Intel and Qualcomm declined to comment on the findings.