Intel Refutes Reports of Scrapping 5G Modem Development, Losing Orders from Apple

Intel has refuted a report from earlier this week which claimed that Apple has decided to ditch the company’s ‘Sunny Peak’ 5G modem for its 2020 iPhones. The company says in its statement that its “customer engagements and roadmap” for 2018 through 2020 has not changed, and it remains committed to its 5G plans and projects.

The original report has also been updated, and it now claims that ‘Sunny Peak’ is not a 5G modem and it did not combine Wi-Fi, 5G, and Bluetooth capabilities into one. Instead, the chip combines Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality into one, with support for 802.11 ad WiGig.

However, since the chip ran into engineering issues, Intel decided to stop development on the chip and reassigned the team to other projects. Apple was expected to be one of the key customers of the chip.

The original report and Intel’s statement do not provide any hint as to whether Apple will indeed launch an iPhone in 2020 with 5G capabilities or not, and if it will feature an Intel modem. What is clear, however, is that Apple will continue to source modem from Intel for the time being.

The Cupertino company has been looking to reduce its reliance on Qualcomm, with perhaps an aim to completely remove it from its supply chain. So, if anything, Apple is looking to strengthen its relationship with Intel as apart from the latter, there’s no other notable modem maker in the business.

MediaTek is reportedly trying to win modem orders from Apple, but the performance and quality of its baseband have always been lower than that of the competition so the company has a lot of ground to catch up in this regard.

[Via VentureBeat]