Apple plans to launch its first iPhones with 5G support by 2020, however, this might not actually materialize. It is the chipmaker Intel to blame as the chipmaking firm has missed several deadlines in the deployment of its upcoming multimode XMM 8160 5G modems that will power 2020 iPhones.
According to VentureBeat, Intel squashed the idea to integrate its first-gen XMM 8060 5G modem with 2019 iPhone after reports claimed that it might not be good for iPhones. In a November 2018 announcement, Intel announced working on the second-gen XMM 8160 multimode 5G modem that will be integrated into 2020 iPhones whilst working with several types of networking ranging from sub-6GHz to even millimeter-wave while also supporting legacy 2G, 3G, and 4G networks.
According to the Intel’s roadmap, the upcoming 8160 5G modems is scheduled to be ready by the end of this year while it will be sent out to smartphone makers ready to roll out on commercial devices by 2020. However, a report by Fast Company states that the chipmaker is lagging behind in terms of the development of the chip that promises less energy consumption and cooler than its first-gen chip.
It is also reported that the Cupertino-based Apple has lost confidence in the chip maker as well since the probability of it making it to 2020 iPhones with 5G support seems slim. Apple is already lagging behind its Android counterparts since a several of 5G-enabled devices has already launched while the leading 5G chipmaker Qualcomm claims that it has 30 different smartphones support 5G network using its X50 modem up for release this year.
To put things into context, Samsung has mastered its own 5G Exynos modem as well that it will use in the recently launched Samsung Galaxy S10 5G in some markets while Motorola launched 5G Moto Mod using Snapdragon X50 modem for its Moto Z4. Finally, Huawei also launched its first foldable 5G smartphone i.e. Mate X with an in-house 5G modem which leaves Apple pounding for more as it is already a year behind 5G-enabled Android smartphones.
Coming back to Intel, the chipmaker claims that it will be ready to ship out 5G modems for 2020 iPhones in the given timeline. On the other hand, Apple is considering designing its own modems for which, the tech giant has hired more than two thousand engineers to design its own 5G modem that it will hire MediaTek or even Samsung to manufacture it, however, it will definitely take more time to complete which means, Apple is currently stuck with a sole 5G modem maker i.e. Intel after its breakup from chipmaker giant Qualcomm in the light of patent infringements and disputes that have been going on for a year now.