Intel outside? Apple ditching Chipzilla for custom 5G modems in the 2020 iPhones



If you want to know whether you have an Intel XMM7480 modem in your iPhone X (A1901 models), or the more capable Qualcomm gear (the A1865 model), you can easily do this, but, starting 2020, there might only be Apple modems inside iPhones.

Speculation? Well, insiders have seen internal Intel communication, and claim that Apple has sent Chipzilla a memo that it will no longer need its future 5G wireless modem designs, starting with the 2020 iPhone crop. After a fallout with Qualcomm over patents and royalties, Apple is moving entirely to Intel modem chips inside the 2018 iPhones, but Intel won't seemingly be the exclusive supplier for more than two years in a row.

After Apple's letter that it will no longer need its services, Intel has reportedly halted research in this area, and might disband the whole 5G modem undertaking, as Apple was its largest and perhaps sole customer. What will the team from Cupertino replace both Qualcomm and Intel with? Why, either a third-party provider like Huawei or MediaTek (unlikely, given the current US trade spat with China), or wireless modems of its own, perhaps. It's not an easy feat to pull off, but if someone has the resources and wherewithal to test and implement multiband LTE modems for the upcoming 5G revolution from scratch, it's Apple, and we are more than curious to see what connectivity options will arrive in the 2020 iPhones. 

According to the internal Intel communication, the decision to ditch its modems is a result of various factors, as Apple is pushing "a massive effort" to introduce 5G in its phones and tablets, but combining it with the upcoming WiGig (802.11ad) standard "into any mobile product brings new and unanticipated challenges," they say, so Apple might be gunning for a more hands-on approach to its 5G connectivity chip conundrum going forward.

source: CTech 

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18 Comments

1. bucknassty

Posts: 1264; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

SO wait... aren't there a lot of legal loops with these modems? they pretty much force you to use their products

8. sgodsell

Posts: 6656; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

There is already a ton of patents from a number of OEMs like Qualcomm, Motorola, and a few others. They have a number of essential patents that if anyone wants to make their own chips. Then rest assured those patents come into place.

9. Finalflash

Posts: 4062; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Well that was true for 4g but 5g is still up for grabs tech wise. The main players like QC and Samsung already have their tech and patents and Apple could also develop enough IP to manufacture their own. The likely scenario is that 2020 iPhones won't have 4g but only 2g, 3g, and 5g. This will allow them to bypass the lack of 4g IP while having good enough connectivity for Apple to get away with it since the average iFan will probably praise the decision as courageous.

11. bucknassty

Posts: 1264; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

Ah gotcha!

12. Nimbus

Posts: 435; Member since: Apr 02, 2018

Smart and witty aren't u,u know very well about all apple insides secret moves gotta +1 like that.

16. Marcwand3l

Posts: 381; Member since: May 08, 2017

I shocked by how clueless you are. Launching a phone without 4G is pure suicide. Also getting access to various 2g and 3g licenses(which are absolutely vital for a phone)is still absolutely necessary. At this point it makes absolutely no sense for Apple to invest in their own modem, that ship have long sailed. Regarding 5G "Qualcomm has landed a number of these foundational patents, which means that both handset makers and telecommunications gear makers will have to pay it licensing fees. It dominated standards setting in 3G and 4G wireless and looks set to top the list of patent holders heading into the 5G cycle. Huawei, Nokia, Ericsson and others are also vying to amass 5G patents, which has helped spur complex cross-licensing agreements like the deal struck late last year Nokia and Huawei around handsets. " So what makes you think 5g is up for grabs?

17. Leo_MC

Posts: 6151; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Why would they have 3G instead of 4G?

2. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1091; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

So Apple is likely doing exactly as I predicted, ditching Intel after learning as much as they could from them to make their own modems. Just goes to show that doing business with Apple is a bad idea in the long run.

3. toukale

Posts: 599; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

Enough with your Apple propaganda. Every part suppliers runs that risk with every company their supply parts to. Those things are usually about costs reductions or to go a different route than your part suppliers. Or to take control over that specific parts. News about Apple bringing that part in house have been around for years.

7. Heisenberg

Posts: 366; Member since: Feb 11, 2015

Have you asked yourself why it's prevalent with Apple? They ditched Imagination technologies They ditched Qualcomm for Intel and soon dump Intel too They will soon ditch Samsung screen for low quality LG and dump LG eventually. These are lists i can easily type but i sure know there are more.

10. Finalflash

Posts: 4062; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Dude, they are desperate to cut costs and increase margins because the iPhone is all their company is now. Can't blame them for trying to cut corners. The market is saturated and when your only product could easily get involved in a trade war, it can become kinds scary. Gotta milk that cash cow while you can.

13. toukale

Posts: 599; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

Spoken like someone who obviously never pay attention to how the parts supply market works. Companies changes parts suppliers all the time for a ton of different reasons. But somehow regular blogs like this one only seems focus on reporting the Apple ones, since they are the ones that gets them click. No one would care if for example HTC was doing this, but you put Apple in the headline and they just wait to cash in with clicks.

18. Leo_MC

Posts: 6151; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I remember people used to dis Apple for not building its own components. Now people are dissing Apple for building its own components... What should Apple do?

4. BuffaloSouce

Posts: 1136; Member since: May 01, 2017

Maybe somebody can abstr this for me. Is 5g that big of an upgrade over 4g LTE? I read that it is a higher frequency so the signal doesn't travel as far and doesn't penetrate that good

5. toukale

Posts: 599; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

5G is build on top of LTE as its foundation. LTE tops at 1 gigabits for download, 5G will increase that to 10 gigabits. Where 5G will make a difference is in the breath of coverage it will provide and enable. Remember, cars, refrigerators, door locks and a ton of other devices will be connected to the net somehow. All those devices will introduces latency and 5g is supposed to address all of those things and more.

6. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Can't remember (AP or Forbes iirc) where I read it but Apple still owes Qualcomm like 4-5 billion for the modems they used from them in the past... Royalties they owe. They don't like paying for others tech, and do everything they can to avoid that even when they do use it. So now they bounce from modem maker to another until they can make one without paying others royalties. They should be made to pay upfront for others tech fully.

14. SIGPRO

Posts: 2810; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

You know how Cr@pple works, they are very interested in your product, eventually when they copy/steal it they will ditch you. And it's true, just look up how many times it already happened. They copy, lie, mislead and steal and they only pay 1% income tax....bunch of crooks!!

15. worldpeace

Posts: 3077; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Apple : What a nice product you got there, want to partner up with us? Intel : Well, I guess.. Apple : Would you mind to explain how it work? ELI5 please. Intel : *Kindheartedly explain it* Apple : Oh, I think I can do it myself, bye then. Intel : ...

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