Intel delays put 2020's 5G iPhones at risk, could see Apple use in-house solution


Posts: 5,788   +46
Staff member

A report from Fast Company claims that Intel, the sole provider of modem chips for last year’s three iPhones, was set to provide the 5G modems for Apple’s 2020 phones. Chipzilla said it expected the XMM 8160 to launch in the second half of this year, but sources say Apple has “lost confidence” in Intel's ability to deliver them on time.

For the first 5G iPhone to launch in September next year, Intel must deliver sample parts to Apple by this summer and hand over a finished design in early 2020, but delays in development are making those deadlines appear less feasible.

It sounds as if Intel could be regretting its deal with Apple. The job of managing the relationship with the Cupertino firm has already seen at least three project managers come and go, and it's believed Intel is getting little profit out of the agreement. Additionally, Apple demands that its needs are put ahead of other Intel customers.

Most Android manufacturers rely on Qualcomm’s modem chips, but Intel was the sole supplier for last year’s iPhones—a result of the two tech giant’s ongoing legal battles. It means that as rival Android phones arrive with 5G modems, such as Qualcomm’s X50, Apple will be waiting for Intel to catch up.

Apple has reportedly tried to secure 5G modems from Samsung and MediaTek, but neither firm is likely to have chips ready in time for next year’s iPhone launch date.

Rather than go back to Qualcomm, a solution could come in the form of modems designed in-house by Apple. It reportedly has between 1000 and 1200 engineers working on the chips for future iPhones and has recruited RF engineers from both Intel and Qualcomm to work in a new San Diego development facility.

According to analysts, 20 million 5G-compatible phones will be sold next year. By 2023, that number is expected to have risen to 930 million, representing almost half of all phone sales.

Permalink to story.



Posts: 1,140   +1,840
Apple cannot blame Intel. They were the ones that ditched Qualcomm's market leading solutions and relied on a partner with a far less proven background and constrained supply chain. For what? To save a few bucks per unit, which they could have easily swallowed early on in 5G's acceptance.

Now they are left behind in the 5G stakes because of the penny pinching on their flagship, premium $1000 phones against $500 Androids. Learn a lesson.


Posts: 53   +51
Apple's in-house solution.... Right, can't wait to see how that one turns out. If it turns out to be half-decent (which I highly doubt) they're gonna charge extra for it, because it's Apple... give me a break, they shot themselves in the foot for dropping Qualcomm


Posts: 2,910   +2,665
"Developers who are really serious about software should make their own hardware”

Everything Apple has should be "in house".

This way it makes it harder for these Chinese-made ripoffs and copyright infringers to know what's coming next and so you can silence the clowns who constantly talk about how Apple uses Samsung parts.

Control the whole process.

Win the game.


Posts: 613   +269
I can't care less about Apple getting screwed. Well deserved.

Also, if I was Samsung I would gladly supply 5G modens to Apple, just demand they etch on every Iphone "5G by Samsung".
Last edited:

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,111   +5,465
Still not sold on 5G. I would like to see a comprehensive report out of NIOSH with an endorsement from CDC before it's allowed to be wide spread. There simply are too many unknowns and too many current and future generations that could be at risk .....


Posts: 522   +179
" Apple, however, is late to the party."

Apple is always late to the party...full face screen, multiple cameras, dual sim, wireless charging, etc., etc.


Posts: 67   +30
How is it that they "can" create a 5g modem in-house but we're not able to complete their powermat? I'm not sure what it was they were planning but I've been able to use a cheap charging mat with 2 coils that would charge my iPhone and watch for a while now.