Re: There's only two reasons Apple is doing this
Well, the leverage isn't going to work if the Intel chips are rubbish. Qualcomm may put their prices up!
Intel are not going to support CDMA (actually you mean CDMA2000. CDMA was the original 2G digital cellular standard in the US that lost out globally to GSM). Or, they'd be mad to do so. It's a yesteryear standard, it's only 3ishG, and it's not used anywhere other than the USA these days. So at best it's a limited market and a declining one at that. It's hard to justify the investment.
The poor sensitivity may be a firmware inadequacy, but it's far more likely to be a poor quality RF front end. To make a modem all Intel have to do is implement the DSP as outlined in the standard and bolt on on a front end. There's not much room to tamper with the DSP, so the inadequacy is more likely to be in low-spec analogue components in the RF front end.
It does raise the question as to whether Apple ever bothered to do any qualification testing on their prototypes. This kind of under performance would stick out like a sore thumb in even the most trivial of bench tests, and you'd like to think that they’d reject it if it. Seems like they've just stuck down the Intel part, done a quick functional test and shipped it. Sloppy. Or just arrogant-don't-care.