The big picture: Apple purchased Intel’s 5G modem business over the summer, leading some to believe that we’d see Apple’s own branded modem hardware in the 2020 iPhones. In reality, however, that’s likely too quick of a turnaround. Intel sold the division for a reason – maybe because their product was too far out from being ready to go to market?
Apple’s first 5G-capable iPhones, reportedly due out in the latter half of 2020, will come equipped with Qualcomm’s X55 5G modem, sources familiar with the matter tell the Nikkei Asian Review (paywalled, via The Verge).
Qualcomm unveiled its second-gen Snapdragon X55 5G modem, which it claims is 40 percent faster than its predecessor, back in February just ahead of the annual Mobile World Congress convention in Barcelona. The announcement came while Apple and Qualcomm were still at odds but in the months to follow, the two decided to set their differences aside and drop all patent litigation worldwide.
The Qualcomm modem will reportedly be paired with the next generation of Apple’s own SoC, likely to be called the A14 Bionic. Sources say this will be Apple’s first chip built on a 5-nanometer manufacturing process. Apple has used a 7nm process since it debuted the A12 Bionic in the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR in 2018.
In the interim, Apple is expected to launch an iPhone SE 2 early next year. The budget handset is rumored to feature modern internals – the A13 Bionic – in a chassis that resembles the iPhone 8.
Masthead credit: Nikkei