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Intel chips will be used for the AT&T version of iPhone and other overseas models, Bloomberg reported Friday. Intel shares inched higher after the news. Verizon phones and iPhones sold in China will stick with Qualcomm, sources told Bloomberg.
Rumors of an Intel-Apple deal have plagued Qualcomm for some time, wrote Brean Capital analyst Mike Burton, who Thursday downgraded Qualcomm stock to "hold."
"We believe that Apple has had a meaningful influence on the pricing dynamics of mobile devices; if Apple's aspirational device is not holding up the high end of pricing, the entire market tends to suffer," Burton wrote in a research note, adding: "While it is unclear how much this will impact QCOM and we believe QCOM has appropriately modeled this near term, we think that Apple is using Intel as a 'hammer' against QCOM."
It came as Intel has undergone steep cost-cutting amid a cooling PC market, with shares down nearly 7 percent year to date as the company mounts a pivot toward mobile and cloud computing. Qualcomm shares are up about 8 percent so far this year.
Intel and Qualcomm both declined to comment on the report. Apple did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.