While many different Android smartphone manufacturers are launching 5G devices this year, Apple probably won’t be joining them.
According to previous rumors and reports, Apple is expected to launch its first 5G iPhone in 2020. That would certainly line up with Intel’s own efforts. That company announced its first 5G modem late last year, with a 2020 release date penciled in. However, it has been speculated in the past that Qualcomm may not be completely off the table as far as potential partners go.
Now, a new analyst note from Barclays suggests that even if Apple does want to use Qualcomm, the latter company may be running out of time to secure orders. The reason? The legal battle happening between the two right now. The analysts expect that Apple has to nail down the 2020 iPhone lineup right now, as far as modems are concerned, which puts Qualcomm in a tight spot. Unless the two companies can hash things out in the next few weeks, Qualcomm may miss the 5G iPhone boat.
It has been previously reported that Apple has considered other 5G modem supplies, including Samsung and MediaTek. However, it remains unknown at this point whether or not those other companies are viable partners. In addition to that, it was reported in December that Apple is investigating building its own cellular modems. However, that effort would probably not be for 2020 iPhones.
Apple may be in a tough spot when it comes to 5G modems thanks to the legal battle with Qualcomm. However, that pressure might force the companies to resolve the issue so they can both profit.