Why your wait for 5G iPhone may get longer, courtesy Samsung

Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook speaks during a company product launch event at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park

So says Fast Company, which has heard from a source "with knowledge of the situation" that Intel has been missing deadlines for the development of its XMM 8160 5G modem, despite past year bringing forward the launch of the chip by six months.

It's also held talks with both Samsung and MediaTek about supplying 5G chips in the near term, the report says, but notes that neither firm is likely to be in a position to supply the modems for a 5G iPhone in 2020. Bell and Telus are now running various 5G trials with Huawei.

Apple expects Intel to deliver sample parts of the 5G modem by the start of summer of this year, with a finished modem design by early 2020.

As a result of its ongoing battle with Qualcomm, the iPhone XS and iPhone XR only use Intel modems following Apple moving away from using the San Diego, California-based company's hardware with the last few iterations of the iPhone. It added that Intel "has been missing deadlines for the development of the chip, the XMM 8160 5G modem, a source with knowledge of the situation says". Apparently, the MediaTek modem may not meet Apple's strict standards, and the analyst believes that "Apple does not practically want to partner with Samsung for this component".

Now, according to a new report from Fast Company, Apple has significantly ramped up its efforts when it comes to creating its own smartphone modems.

Apple is now involved in an unresolved legal dispute with the mobile industry's main modem manufacturer, Qualcomm.

So until its own modems are ready, Apple is going to have to rely on Intel. If Apple is unable to get a 5G iPhone out in time, the company could really fall behind considering the fact that some 5G phones are already launching this year. If this is true, it would be bad news for Intel, which now makes iPhone modems.



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