American manufacturer, Apple, is at a cross-road in its quest to release a 5G smartphone next year. For sometime, Apple had relied on Qualcomm and Intel for its chips. However, these companies will not be able to help Apple with 5G chips. Its on-going legal battle with Qualcomm rules out the American chip maker while Intel will not be able to release a 5G chip within the time frame that Apple want. Samsung has rejected Apple’s offer for 5G chips because of insufficient production capacity while MediaTek will not be an option due to obvious reasons – quality. Now, it appears that Apple has but one last option – Huawei.
Huawei first launched its 5G basband chip, Balong 5000 in August 2018 and at MWC 2019, the company released the Huawei Mate X with this chip. Now, reports from Engadget suggests that Huawei will unusually sell its 5G Balong 5000 chip, but only if the buyer is Apple.
Usually, Huawei does not sell its chips. Nevertheless, with the dilemma facing Apple, it may be forced to bid for Huawei’s Balong 5000. If Apple do not find a solution, it may release the first 5G iPhone in 2021, which is two years behind the competition. This is bad business for Apple. Since Intel will not get the XMM 8160 system ready on time, Apple’s only option for now is the Balong 5000. As unlikely as it may seem, if this deal happens, it will be a win-win situation for both Huawei and Apple.
If Apple have to use Huawei’s 5G chip, then it may face the hurdle of convincing the US government that it is “safe”. On the one hand, Apple get to release a 5G iPhone next year while on the other, Huawei gets closer to the US market that it has always wanted. This looks like a win-win situation for both companies. See a detail analysis HERE