A report from earlier this week claimed that Intel was lagging behind in its 5G modem development and that this had put Apple’s plan of launching a 5G iPhone in 2020 in jeopardy. Despite the legal battle between the two companies, Qualcomm’s president says that it is ready to supply 5G modem to Apple for 2020 iPhones.
Qualcomm’s President Cristiano Amon said that while “can’t really comment on what Apple is doing,” though he noted that the longer any company waits to release a 5G product, the higher will be the bar for them to match.
“We’re still in San Diego, they have our phone number,” he said. “If they call, we’ll support them,” Qualcomm’s President Cristiano Amon told Axios.
Apple last sourced modem from Qualcomm for the 2017 iPhone variants sold in some parts of the world. For its 2018 iPhone lineup, the Cupertino company entirely switched to Intel’s modem.
Due to the ongoing legal issues between Apple and Qualcomm, the former is expected to source 5G modem for future iPhones from Intel only. However, as per reports, Intel is failing to meet the development deadlines which has put Apple in a fix. If Apple does not get sample chips by the second half of this year, it won’t be possible for the company to launch a 5G iPhone in 2020.
Apple itself is working on designing its own modem but that chip is still at least 2-3 years away from turning into a reality.
It is unlikely that Apple will go back to Qualcomm for its 5G modem requirement. The company can very well delay the release of its 5G iPhone by a year but won’t source 5G modems from Qualcomm. Plus, 5G networks are still in nascent stages and they still have a long way to go in terms of adoption and coverage before the lack of 5G connectivity on iPhones will become an issue.