Apple iPhone 7-A1778 with Intel Modem XMM7360 Model on AT&T

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One of my family members got the Apple iPhone 7 A1778 model. The phone is Matte Black and 32GB. It was purchased from an Apple store and was bought with full money paid. The phone is being used on the AT&T network. The model A1778 was torn down by Chipworks and they have discovered it to be using the Intel XMM7360 Modem. The Intel XMM7360 modem is not CDMA compatible and therefore this model cannot be used with Verizon or Sprint. However, almost all carriers around the world (excluding China and Japan) use GSM and therefore this phone should be great for traveling. Another important aspect is the number of LTE bands this phone supports. The iPhone 7 A1778 and its siblings are among the few phones that support LTE band 30, which is AT&Ts WCS LTE band that is supposed to increase capacity. The website www.frequencycheck.com describes LTE Band 30 and compatible phones. The LTE band 30 is not widespread yet but the phone is definitely future-proofed. The AT&T variant of the Samsung Galaxy S7 SM-G930A model is another that supports LTE band 30. The SM-G930A is using Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor which has the baseband embdedded and supports LTE band 30 along with all the other necessary bands. The iPhone 7 A1778 has the Apple A10 Fusion SoC which is a standalone processor and unlike Exynos 8890 and Snapdragon 820, does not contain an integrated LTE modem, which is why Apple is getting modems from Intel and Qualcomm. The iPhone 7 Plus modem A1784 should also have the Intel modem XMM 7360 as its specs are identical to that of the A1778.

Apple iPhone 7 supports Wi-Fi calling on the AT&T network. It can be enabled by going into settings->Phone and toggling Wi-Fi calling switch. While enabling Wi-Fi calling, you're supposed to enter an address for the emergency personnel to locate you during a 911 call.

Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus model numbers. The information in the table below is from Apple website as well iFixit and chipworks. Thanks to their work.

Apple iPhone 7 Model Number Apple iPhone 7 Plus Model Number
A1778 - GSM only, Intel LTE Modem A1784 - GSM only, Intel LTE Modem
A1660 - GSM and CDMA, Qualcomm LTE Modem A1661 - GSM and CDMA, Qualcomm LTE Modem
A1779 (Japan Exclusive) - GSM and CDMA, Qualcomm LTE Modem A1785 (Japan Exclusive) - GSM and CDMA, Qualcomm LTE Modem

More details regarding the Intel XMM7360 modem can be found here. The details regarding the modem there supports the conclusions that I have made in this page. When rumours began to surface earlier in 2016, this design win for Intel was touted as a major coup. The fact that Apple is demarcating AT&T and T-Mobile models separate from Verizon and Sprint models is important. In countries where GSM is the only Mobile technology, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models with Intel modem has to be the only available models. This should have a significant impact in emerging markets, particularly India, where CDMA carriers don't exist. The details regarding LTE compatibility and the models sold in each country is here. As you will see from this page, the only markets where models A1778 and A1784 are NOT SOLD are China, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and Japan; India is not listed. According to Apple's India website, models A1778, A1660, A1784 and A1661 are sold in India. This makes sense as that will ensure an even split of models in India.

The tumbling of the British Pound Sterling due to the Brexit vote should also have an impact on Apple's margins in the United Kingdom. The iPhone 7 starts at £599.00 which comes out to $733.89 as of October 20, 2016. That is quite a bit higher than the starting price of $649 in the United States. The iPhone 7 starts at ₹ 60,000 in India, which comes out to $897.82 as of October 20, 2016, which is even higher. However this has to be due to import tariffs and what not. My guess would be that people in India who wants an iPhone 7 can ask somebody they know in the United States buy the phone for them. All available iPhone models should work in India, no matter where they are purchased, as all necessary LTE bands, 2G and 3G frequencies are supported by all four models.

Apple iPhone 7 A1778 Matte Black showing the missing headphone port and with lightning connector plugged in Apple iPhone 7 A1778 Matte Black showing the stereo speakes at what used to be the location of the headphone port Apple iPhone 7 A1778 Matte Black showing the restoration from iCloud, on AT&T network

The LTE Cell Info app revealed that the phone is using AT&T LTE Band 2, LTE Band 4 and LTE Band 17. Together these three bands should provide a combined theoretical maximum downlink speed of 452 Mbps and 102 Mbps uplink as that is the specification of LTE Category 10 (Cat.10). This is via carrier aggregation. The Intel XMM 7360 is Category 10 and supports 3x carrier aggregation, meaning 3 different LTE bands can be combined for increasing Downlink and Uplink speeds. The actual combined speed will depend on the Max Speed of each band and other network characteristics. If AT&T Band 2, Band 4 and Band 17 were to be combined, the maxium Downlink speed would be 402 Mbps and the maximum uplink speed would be 102 Mbps. 402 Mbps downlink because 150+150+102 = 402. 102 Mbps uplink because that is the maximum Category 10 can provide even though each band supports 51 and 51 times 3 is 153. This phone supports VoLTE (Voice Over LTE) on the AT&T network.

The app behaves differently and provides more information when used with an iPhone 5C. I think this is because the app may not have been optimized or updated to be compatible with iPhone 7?

Apple iPhone 7 A1778 LTE network details on AT&T showing Band 2, Band 4 and Band 17 active with max download of 450 Mbps

Here is a great article comparing the performance characteristics of the Intel XMM7360 iPhone 7 Plus and Qualcomm MDM9645M iPhone 7 Plus


Unlocking the AT&T iPhone 7 Model A1778

If you buy your AT&T iPhone 7 A1778 full money down, you can request the phone to be unlocked right away. In this case, I requested the phone to be unlocked 2 days after buying it full money down via the AT&T unlock portal. I got the approval email with instructions on how to unlock within 2 hours. The process is simpler that unlocking an Android phone. All you have to do is put in a non-AT&T SIM card and it will be unlocked. You might be wondering why you would want to buy an AT&T device full money down when you can buy the SIM free version which is unlocked from Apple for the same price. Well, I specifically wanted the model with the Intel XMM 7360 modem in it and the unlocked, SIM-free version sold by Apple is the iPhone 7 A1660 model which has the Qualcomm modem in it. Yea you guessed it right: I am pro-Intel, although not necessarily anti-Qualcomm. I used the Vodafone NL nano-SIM card I had to unlock the iPhone 7 A1778

Another reason that you might want to buy the AT&T iPhone7 A1778 and unlock it instead of getting the A1660 model SIM free would be to ensure maximum performance from your device. For example, if you want your device to be unlocked so that you can travel but you use AT&T at home, then it is best to buy AT&T iPhone 7 A1778 full money down and then unlock it. That way, you are using an official AT&T device while you are in the United States and the device is unlocked for you to be able to use abroad. Now I would speculate that attempting to use the iPhone 7 A1660 with an AT&T SIM card may not give you the best performance and maximum upload and download speeds as the official AT&T device is the iPhone 7 A1778. Again, this is purely speculation as I do not have the data to back this up. The modem firmwares of the iPhone 7 A1778 and iPhone 7 A1660 have to be clearly different as they are manufactured by two different companies: A1778 modem by Intel and A1660 modem by Qualcomm. I do not know enough to say if there are any dependencies on the modem firmware when it comes to performance when used with a specific network. The Modem Firmware on the iPhone 7 A1778 is 1.00.03, running on Apple iOS 10.0.2. I would love to see the Modem Firmware of iPhone 7 A1660 running iOS 10.0.2

The Modem Firmware on the iPhone 7 A1778 is 1.00.05 after Apple iOS was updated to 10.0.3. So either some fixes or enhancements have been introduced with the iOS update.

The Modem Firmware on the iPhone 7 A1778 is 1.02.15 after Apple iOS was updated to 10.2. So either some fixes or enhancements have been introduced with this latest iOS update.


Apple iPhone 7 A1778 Gallery. Photos taken with Samsung Galaxy S7 SM-G930F

Apple iPhone 7 A1778 Black 32 GB lightning port and missing headphone jack Apple iPhone 7 A1778 Black 32 GB bottom with lightning port and missing headphone jack at the Apple iPhone 7 A1778 Black 32 GB front with the new home button

Apple iPhone 7 A1778 Black 32 GB front with the new home button Apple iPhone 7 A1778 Black 32 GB left side with the buttons Apple iPhone 7 A1778 Black 32 GB back showing that its not Jet Black

Apple iPhone 7 A1778 Black 32 GB back close up showing regulatory markings and model number A1778 Apple iPhone 7 A1778 Black 32 GB back showing Apple logo, 12 MP Camera, Noise Cancelling microphone and Quad-LED True Tone flash Apple iPhone 7 A1778 Black 32 GB back close up showing Apple logo, 12 MP Camera, Noise Cancelling microphone and Quad-LED True Tone flash


Caseology Wavelength Series iPhone 7 case - Black and Gold

Gallery

Caseology Wavelength Series iPhone 7 case - Black and Gold inside

The Caseology Wavelength series iPhone 7 case is a very well designed case. The case was purchased from Amazon. The case feel very high quality and the rubber texture provides a good grip. The case doesn't cover the noise cancelling microphone between the 12 MP Camera and the Quad-LED True Tone flash. Very impressed and would highly recommend this family of cases.

Caseology Wavelength Series iPhone 7 case - Black and Gold outside Caseology Wavelength Series iPhone 7 case - Black and Gold inside
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