Intel can’t keep up: Apple will not launch 5G iPhone this year


Previous reports pointed out that Apple does not intend to provide 5G support in the 2019 iPhone lineup, but instead chooses to wait another year. Recent news from Intel seems to have confirmed that if Apple decides to add 5G support on the iPhone this year, the company will not be able to help Apple. Intel executives said on Saturday that devices using the company’s 5G modem will not be available until 2020. Intel is Apple’s main modem supplier. Although the company does not specifically list the companies affected by this statement, if Apple uses Intel’s modem, it means that this year’s iPhone model will not support 5G.

According to Intel’s network chip business director Sandra Rivera, samples of 5G modem chips will be shipped this year. Non-consumer 5G products, including network equipment, will be available this year, but Rivera expects that there will be no consumer devices using Intel 5G modems this year. The previous report provided the possibility for the iPhone to support 5G in 2019. The XMM 8160 5G modem introduced in November last year was six months ahead of schedule. However, Intel said that it plans to launch a 5G modem in the second half of 2019, and commercial equipment using the company’s products is expected to begin shipping in the first half of 2020. 

Intel is not the only company that produces 5G modems. Qualcomm has the Snapdragon X55 5G modem which has a theoretical download speed of 7 Gbps and supports “all major bands”, but Qualcomm and Apple’s ongoing legal battle means that the modem will not appear on the iPhone in the short term. In addition, the 2020 iPhone may not even use a 5G modem designed by Intel or any other company at all. It is said that Apple is considering designing its own modem.

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3 Comments

  1. Freeje238
    February 24, 2019

    An innovative company.

  2. (((Paul)))
    February 25, 2019

    And it doesn’t matter much, unless you really want to future-proof.

  3. Godfree Roberts
    February 25, 2019

    Meanwhile, China is charging ahead. Here are some recent headlines:

    • An indoor 5G network will be installed in the Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station by the end of this year.
    • China Mobile Shanghai and Huawei jointly made the announcement on building the 5G digital indoor system at the station, a major railway hub that handles 60 million passengers every year.
    • South China’s technological powerhouse Shenzhen will launch pilot project for 5G commercial use in 2019, with 1,955 5G base stations to be installed in the city this year.
    • East China’s Jiangxi Province plans to cover its major cities and towns with 5G networks by 2023.
    • According to a recently-passed plan by the local government, the province will step up its efforts in constructing and expanding 5G networks in the following five years.
    • The Shenyang general aviation industry base in Liaoning Province launched a 5G base station on Feb. 19, making it the first 5G-covered general aviation airport in northeast China.
    • China’s first trial 5G wireless network on a college campus has been established in the Huazhong University of Science and Technology. The network will enable applications of technologies such as online distant learning featuring augmented reality and virtual reality and campus patrolling with night-vision drones, according to the university which is located in central China’s Hubei Province.
    • China has installed 135,000 5G cell sites. The US has 35,000.