We may not see a 5G iPhone until 2025 after Intel-Apple modem divorce, report

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May 16, 2019
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Apple intends to design its own 5G iPhone chips — but it will take quite a long to be materialized.

Apple may not have its custom 5G modem ready for its iPhones for about six years. The Cupertino tech giant, which was expected to lag Android device makers when it comes to integrating superfast 5G connectivity into phones, is now focused on designing more of the components inside its devices to rely less on suppliers, as according to a report by The Information.

As per the report, that Apple’s VP of hardware, Johnny Srouji was very disappointed in Intel. Citing an anonymous source the report said that “in interviews with prospective hires for the team, he (Srouji) has told engineers that they expect to have their own modem ready by 2025.”

Meanwhile, Apple’s frustrations with Intel’s modem efforts began much earlier than some previous reports had pointed out and involved struggles with modems for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, not just 5G smartphone modem development that Intel abandoned last month.

The media outlet also shed light on the “long and painful divorce” and stated

“Apple and Intel’s relationship appears to be under strain elsewhere. On Apple’s second-quarter earnings report last month, CEO Tim Cook blamed constraints in the supply of processing chips for its weak Mac sales. Intel is the sole supplier of the main processing chips for Macs. Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO at the time, announced in 2005 that it was switching to Intel chips after disappointments with the performance of PowerPC chips developed by Motorola and IBM.”

To conclude, the report has affirmed the belief that Apple was so fed up with Intel’s modem struggles that it had little to no choice but to get relief from its legal headaches by settling with Qualcomm. That should result in Qualcomm modems in iPhones for at least a few years, at least until Apple finalizes its own chip.

 
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