Apple in no hurry to 5G-capable iPhone

WHILE MAJOR TECH companies such as Qualcomm and Samsung look to get 5G-capable smartphones out to the market as early as 2019, Apple appears to be dragging its heels and will hold off until 2020.

Posted December 12,2018 in Science and Technology.

Tony Verona
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Apple in no hurry to 5G-capable iPhone

A source familiar with the Cupertino firm’s phone-making plans told Fast Company magazine that Apple is looking to bring a 5G iPhone to the smartphone world around a year after 5G makes its predicted debut in 2019.

Rather than rush out a 5G-capable iPhone, Apple is potentially waiting to see whether 5G has a healthy enough uptake to warrant bringing such connectivity to its iPhones.

If it does, Intel is slated to be the 5G chip provider, with the 2020 iPhones expected to use Intel’s 8161 5G modem chip, despite rumours that Apple will be looking to build its own chipsets in the near future.

The modem chips in current-generation iPhones, such as the iPhone XS, use Intel tech, so it looks as though Apple will use its existing relationship with Intel to get on the 5G bandwagon, at least until Cupertino works out its own route with making chips in-house.

Chip maker MediaTek is also slated to be poised as a partner for Apple as a backup plan, if problems arise with Intel supplying 5G modem chips.

A slew of 5G-capable phones from the likes of Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi are expected to debut in early 2019.

As the standalone 5G standard has only just been finalised in the form of 5G New Radio, the new wave of wireless connectivity is very much in its infancy. So it makes sense that Apple will wait and see how the technology develops before committing to a 5G iPhone.