Saturday, March 9, 2013

Apple to use Qualcomm's Snapdragon SoC for low-cost iPhone

According to a report by China Times, Apple is planning to use Qualcomm's Snapdragon SoC (system on a chip) in its purported low-cost iPhone whose manufacturing is expected to commence during the second quarter of the year. The report was spotted by Apple Insider via Japanese blog Macotakara.

As per the report, Apple plans to use Taiwan based chipmaker TSMC's 28nm process to build cheaper iPhone's Snapdragon SoC, and that Apple is likely to stick to 3G connectivity for the phone, so it's not likely to use an SoC that supports LTE on board.

Qualcomm had recently launched the Snapdragon 400 and 200 processors for mid-range and entry-level smartphones which are also based on the 28nm process, and include onboard support for all major connectivity options save LTE allowing manufacturers to cut component cost. So it can't be ruled out that Apple might be looking at them as potential SoCs for the low-cost iPhone.

The China Times report also predicts that Renesas Electronics will produce the low-cost iPhone's LCD drivers, and that the NAND flash memory will be procured from Toshiba, Elpida, Micron Technology, SK Hynix and SanDisk.

A recent report by Apple Insider via Japanese blog Macotakara claimed that Apple is currently working on two different iPhone models and that one of these will be a successor to the iPhone 5 with a 4.5-inch screen while the other will a cheaper smartphone model sporting a polycarbonate body. The blog also mentioned that the next iPhone is likely to be expected by sometime in 2014, while the cheaper model should launch sooner.

Earlier this year, DigiTimes had also reported about the launch of a low-cost iPhone suggesting that Apple could use Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon chipsets, the dual-core MSM8960 or the quad-core APQ8064 in the phone.