Intel executive "confirms" Apple's timeline for 5G iPhone

Intel executive "confirms" Apple's timeline for 5G iPhone
We already expected Apple not to release a 5G compatible iPhone until 2020, and some news reported today by Reuters pretty much supports that timeline. According to the report, Intel executives said today that the company's 5G modem chips will not be found inside any smartphone until 2020. Presently, Apple is Intel's biggest customer for its mobile modem chips, and the 2020 timeline for their arrival would dovetail with the expected unveiling next year of a 5G iPhone.

At an Intel event held today in Palo Alto, California, the chip maker's chief of networking chips, Sandra Rivera, said that manufacturers could expect to receive samples of the chip this year.  Even so, the company doesn't expect to see the chip found in any devices that will be available to consumers in 2019. Back in November, we passed along word that Apple would wait until 2020 to enter the 5G market, and that these handsets would employ Intel's 10nm 8161 modem chip. Apple's current feud with former modem chip source Qualcomm over patents and royalties, means that Apple will not use the Snapdragon X55 5G modem on its mobile devices.

Last month, during the FTC v. Qualcomm non-jury trial, Apple supply chain executive Tony Blevins testified that the company was considering sourcing 5G modem chips from Samsung and MediaTek. There was also some speculation that Apple would have its own 5G modem chip ready for 2020. While it appears that Apple will eventually design its own 5G modem chip, the timing of this is unclear.

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