Apple's next smartphone is going to lag behind its main competitors in terms of data speed when it's released later this year, according to a report from Bloomberg. While major cell phone providers are now capable of delivering wireless data at rates of one gigabit per second, the Cupertino-based tech giant isn't quite ready for the high-speed future.
The issue stems from an impasse between the iPhone maker and Qualcomm, one of its modem suppliers. Apple is in the midst of a legal battle with the San Diego company, which is the purveyor of new X16 LTE modems which are capable of the one gigabit benchmark and fast becoming an industry standard. Because of the legal dispute -- in which Apple is accusing Qualcomm of holding an illegal monopoly over the hardware supply chain -- Apple doesn't want to enter business with Qualcomm exclusively, and will instead source some of its modems from another supplier, Intel.
Here's where it gets bad: Intel is currently working on a modem that can process data at one gigabit per second, but hasn't achieved that level of processing yet, and therefore won't be ready in time for the iPhone 8. To ensure that all iPhone 8s function with the same level of connectivity, Apple won't enable its Qualcomm modems to process data at the highest possible speeds. This means that the iPhone 8 will inevitably be slower than its main competitors -- Samsung's Galaxy S8 will use Qualcomm's X16 LTE modems exclusively, for example.
Apple's choice to source its modems from both companies -- like it did with the iPhone 7 -- is nothing new. But its relationship with Qualcomm is proving to be a stick in the mud as gigabit speeds are set to become the norm for major carriers. There is some good news afoot on the Apple horizon, however, such as a glut of new specs featured on iOS 11 that should make using your iPhone a little more sophisticated, even if it's still a tad slower than you'd like.