Detailed iPhone 7 specs show a mixed bag for Intel

Image: iFixit

The iPhone 7 has so far been touted as a win for Intel, which is providing mobile baseband chips for the first time. But as more details come to light about the flagship's chipset, the picture begins to look more mixed for the chip manufacturer.

The Verge noted Friday that the iPhone 7's A10 Fusion chip is impressively powerful, so much so that it could theoretically begin eating into Intel's market share.

Apple's new chip isn't just outpacing its smartphone rivals. Its single core performance is actively rivaling some of Intel's laptop CPU's.

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That spells the possibility that Apple could one day put its A chips – perhaps even the A10 – in a laptop, a big change for Intel after dominating the desktop CPU market for so many years.

But regardless of whether that ever comes to pass, getting a CPU this powerful in a mobile device is a big deal. Attention is steadily shifting from desktop to mobile computing, and Apple's chips are remaining superior in that segment.

Intel could not be reached for comment on the potential competition.

If these numbers are worrying Intel, however, the market's not showing it. Indeed, Intel stocks spiked as the market opened on Friday – leaving enough time for investors to see the more detailed information about the iPhone 7's specifications.

Image: Google Finance
Zooming out to the broader picture gives an even clearer sense of recent optimism. Note the rebound that occurred on September 9, the same day the Wall Street Journal reported the iPhone 7 would be using Intel basebands.
Image: Google Finance
That said, these effects can't be isolated, and Intel is still in the midst of otherwise good news. A teardown of the iPhone 7 on Thursday confirmed the phone would indeed be using Intel baseband chips, at least for the non-CDMA models. To be sure, the A10 chip is the device's main CPU, created by Apple and not related to the baseband chips, which are supplied by either Qualcomm or Intel, depending on the model.

That may be boosting confidence, as the Journal's report was based upon the clue that some iPhone 7 models wouldn't employ CDMA technology. Qualcomm, which had up until now been providing all the iPhone's baseband chips, consistently uses CDMA, which meant those models couldn't be using Qualcomm chips.

For Qualcomm's part, the market appears to have mostly rebounded from the loss of those chips after a brief plunge on September 9.

Image: Google Finance
For more:
- read The Verge article
- check out the iPhone 7 teardown

Related articles:
Intel will supply up to half of iPhone 7 baseband chips, breaking Qualcomm's hold
The iPhone 7 offers some unexpected new feature

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