A report says that 5G technology will be arriving for Apple iPhones sometime in 2020.
According to Fast Company, a source revealed that Apple’s 5G iPhone will launch in 2020, with the company planning to use Intel’s 8161 5G modem chip in its smartphones. If Intel is able to fabricate the 8161 using its 10-nanometer process, it will be the sole provider of iPhone modems.
Earlier this year it was reported that Apple was actually looking to cut ties with Intel in 2020, at least as far as its Mac computers were concerned. In fact, Apple was allegedly working on manufacturing its own chip for the devices. The initiative, code named Kalamata, is still in the early stages, but has been approved by executives.
The project is part of a larger plan to make all of Apple’s devices work more similarly and seamlessly together. Replacing the chips would probably result in a multi-step transition. The change would also allow Apple to bring new features to all of its products more quickly — not to mention it would set itself apart from its rivals. In fact, Apple would then be the only major computer maker to use its own processors, since Dell Technologies, HP, Lenovo Group, and ASUS Computers all use Intel chips.
In addition, the source said that Apple has been unhappy with Intel of late, primarily due to the challenge of solving heat dissipation issues caused by the 8060 modem chip. Not only does the issue cause heat to be felt outside of the phone, but it also affects battery life.
But while the source admitted that Apple has held conversations with another chip maker, MediaTek, about potentially supplying 5G modem chips, that person believes going with another company is a distant “Plan B.” It also won’t cause Apple to reopen conversations with Qualcomm about supplying 5G modems — especially since its X50 modem also has heat dissipation problems.
In the meantime, several 5G handsets will debut at the Mobile World Congress show next February, with Android phones from manufacturers including Oppo, Huawei, and Xiaomi featuring 5G modem chips made by Qualcomm.