Apple could struggle to add 5G connectivity to its 2020 iPhone lineup, according to reports.
Apple’s new supplier Intel is reportedly struggling to meet the deadlines for its XMM 8160 5G modem – the modem that Apple plans to use in next year’s iPhones.
Intel has reportedly missed several deadlines and Apple is beginning to lose confidence in its modem partner.
For Apple to release a 5G modem in September 2020, the company must receive sample chips this summer to begin development on the device. A finished modem must also be available from the beginning of 2020 so Apple can make tweaks to its hardware before production.
Intel has said in the past that it will have 5G chips in mobile devices next year, and it’s planning to ship the 8160 5G chip in the second half of this year, but it’s unknown whether the firm will be able to meet those targets following slower than expected development.
Apple first started using Intel chips on its iPhone 7 and 7 Plus devices, and last year, the firm made Intel its primary LTE supplier after an ongoing legal battle with supplier Qualcomm.
To overcome the challenges, Apple has reportedly held talks with Samsung and MediaTek, who are also developing their own chips, although neither will have their chips ready for 2020.
As an outsider, it seems like Apple may be left with no choice but to return to Qualcomm as its core supplier, but legal tensions between the two technology companies make it unlikely.
Apple is currently developing its own modem chips, but they won’t be ready for a number of years. It’s hoped that the company’s proprietary chips can help them move away from working with third-party suppliers like Intel, Samsung, and Qualcomm, and innovate in its own field.
Would you be disappointed if Apple missed its 2020 deadline for 5G technology? With rivals like Samsung and Huawei already announcing 5G Android phones, Apple could fall behind very quickly.