Update: A new report solidifies early rumors of Apple holding off for a 5G iPhone till 2020. The company’s rivals including Samsung and Huawei already have plans to release a 5G-ready phone the next year.
Apple’s iPhones in 2020 might have 5G capabilities, as per a report from FastCompany. According to a source, the company will choose Intel as an exclusive modem supplier.
Intel is currently working a chip called 8060, which will be used to test 5G on the iPhone. However, the chipmaker is planning to manufacture a 10nm 5G-enabled modem, named 8161, to achieve better speed and efficiency.
We expect that the 2020 iPhone will use these 8161 modem chips. Intel will benefit a lot if it ends up as the sole supplier of 5G modems to Apple.
The report also notes that Apple’s ‘Plan-B’ is to go to MediaTek for 5G-enabled modems. Although, MediaTek, by-and-large, produces modems for low and mid-range phones.
A month ago, Qualcomm announced its plans to release a 5G modem named X50. The company’s president Cristiano Amon said that users should expect at least two 5G flagships in the next year. The announcement also included names of partners like LG, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Vivo, and Sony.
Apple might not turn to Qualcomm as the X50 reportedly created heat dissipation for other phone makers, who are supporting the millimeter-wave spectrum. This is a bit of an issue, as the millimeter-wave spectrum (between 28 GHz and 39 GHz) is the bandwidth US network providers will rely on to for 5G connection.
In 2019, many smartphone makers will release 5G-enabled phones. However, only users in select regions of the world will be able to experience 5G connectivity.
Apple users will likely get their hands on the 5G-enabled iPhone by the end of 2020. By this time, 5G will most likely be out of its initial experimental stage and networks will offer decent coverage.