MediaTek Looking to Secure 5G Modem Orders from Apple for Future iPhones

Despite rumors that Apple will be sourcing modem for future iPhones from MediaTek, the company has not yet taken a final decision.

As per Digitimes report citing supply chain sources, the Cupertino company will only take a final decision after both companies have reached an agreement with regards to product roadmap, technology, development, and collaborative efforts.

Apple would not make a final decision until the two companies – if they have been indeed in talks over modem chip supply – could reach a consensus on a number of aspects including product roadmap, technology development and collaborative efforts, said the sources.

MediaTek is currently working on its 5G modem, the Helio M70, which is being built on the 7nm fabrication process from TSMC to save power. It is being built on the 3GPP standard and will offer download speeds of up to 5Gbps. The company unveiled this modem at Computex Taipei 2018 in early June six months ahead of its original schedule.

The Chinese company has been looking to enhance its presence in the 5G market in a bid to win orders from Apple. The company plans to officially start shipping its 5G modem in 2019.

Before MediaTek is able to secure 5G modem orders from Apple, it is also vying to secure Wi-Fi chip orders from Apple for use in the HomePod.

Our Take

Apple has been looking to reduce its reliance on Qualcomm for its baseband requirements. For this, the company started sourcing modem from Intel starting with the iPhone 7 and continued that trend with the iPhone 8. For its 2018 iPhones, the company is expected to outsource the majority of its baseband requirements to Intel which has finally developed a Gigabit LTE modem that supports both GSM and CDMA networks.

Given how the legal battle between Qualcomm and Apple has intensified, Apple is likely keen to drop the company as its modem supplier for future 5G iPhones. Thus, it will definitely be interested in 5G modem from MediaTek for its devices provided they match its criteria and specifications.

[Via Digitimes]