You might remember that we wrote a post which indicated that Apple uses two different modem chips in the iPhone X. Which chip you get depends on your carrier and the market. There were some tests conducted and while both modems run at comparable speeds, the Qualcomm modem is still outperforming in terms of LTE speeds. If you’re interested in which modem is in your iPhone X, read on.
First off, these are the different iPhone X models, and which modem is available in that particular model:
iPhone X A1865 model: Apple uses the Qualcomm MDM9655 Snapdragon X16 LTE modem in the A1865 model for CDMA carriers (Verizon, Sprint) in the US, Australia, China, Hong Kong, New Zealand.
iPhone X A1902 model: Apple also uses the Qualcomm MDM9655 Snapdragon X16 LTE modem in the A1902 model for Japan
iPhone X A1901 model: iPhone X Apple uses the Intel XMM 7480 modem in the A1901 model for GSM carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile) in the US, Canada, Europe, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Phillippines, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Argentina, Russia, and Mexico.
There are two ways to find out the iPhone X model number in iOS.
Step 1: Launch Settings app
Step 2: Navigate to General > About
Step 3: Scroll down and tap on Model. It will switch from the part number to reveal the actual model number as you can see in the screenshot below.
Step 1: You can also find out the model number by navigating to Settings > About > Legal > Regulatory.
Step 2: You will find the model number of your iPhone X right at the top as you can see in the screenshot below.
But does this even mean anything? Yes and no. Like I said, the modems both run at relatively the same speed. The Qualcomm modem is slightly faster, but only in certain conditions. Honestly, unless you’re a smartphone power user, there is a good chance that you didn’t even know there was more than one version of the iPhone X. You might not have noticed that your phone was running “slower” than other models. But if you’re a power user and you’re concerned about the speed of your phone, you should definitely put some thought into which iPhone X that you purchase. Which model should you choose? The A1865 is the best option for now.
What’s interesting about this is that Apple did this with the iPhone 7 last year. It used both a Qualcomm modem and an Intel modem. In that case, the Qualcomm modem outperformed as well. Especially in areas where there were lower signals. Why do I find this interesting? It seems like Apple is purposely making an inferior iPhone X. Maybe I’m reading into this a bit, but it seems odd to use two different modems. Apple puts a great deal of emphasis on guaranteeing the same performance no matter what hardware model you buy, but in this case, it’s not able to deliver in terms of performance.
Something else that’s interesting is that Qualcomm and Apple are in a battle over patents and royalty payments. Apple is making the argument that they shouldn’t have to pay so much, but Qualcomm is defending its licensing practices as fair and reasonable. Apple can afford to pay, I would think. So what’s the big deal? I don’t know the answer to that, but it would seem like they’re in the market for a new modem supplier. Will Intel be able to step up to fill this gap? If so, it’s possible that Apple will use the Intel modems only going forward and thus making all their units exactly the same.