If there’s one big surprise looking at the tentative virtual tear-down carried out by UBM Techinsights, it’s that the cost of the baseband modem appears to have risen by nearly 80 per cent from $14 to $25, that’s 15 per cent of the phone’s total cost of ownership, up from 10.5 per cent on the iPhone 4S.
A quick look at Apple’s official tech spec page leaves us to believe that the best candidate for the baseband modem is the MDM9615, which is a so-called world mode mobile data modem and according to Qualcomm’s documentation, supports “LTE FDD/TDD CAT3, SVLTE-DB, Release 8 DC-HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, GSM/GPRS/EDGE, EGAL, 1x Adv., EV-DO Rev. A/B”.
The MDM9615 – which was introduced at MWC in 2011 – is the voice-capable version of the MDM9600 that uses a 28nm manufacturing process rather than 45nm and as per Apple’s official literature, the chipset has a peak data rate of up to 100Mbps.
It’s also worth noting that the chipset includes its integrated application processor, a Cortex A5. Qualcomm has already released the follow-up to that chip, the MDM9625, which ads LTE Adv. Cat 4 as well as Release 10 HSPA+ to the list, boosting the peak data rates to 150Mbps, while reducing power consumption and die size. Maybe a candidate for the iPhone 5S/iPhone 6.
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