Not long after Apple and Qualcomm’s settlement statement was issued some days ago, Intel announced its withdrawal from the 5G smartphone baseband chip business. Today, there are reports that Intel will continue to supply 4G chips to Apple this year. This means that 2019 iPhones will continue to use the company’s chips.
According to Reuters, Stephen Neils, Intel CEO, Bob Swan, commented on the smartphone’s baseband chip plan during the company’s 2019 Q1 earnings conference call, “Our expectation is we will continue to deliver on the 4G modem throughout the course of this year, including the second iteration of that product coming in the fall back to school season,” Swan said, reportedly referring to Apple’s smartphone. Qualcomm and Apple just settled and it is too late for the 2019 iPhones to use Qualcomm’s chips. Even if it does, it’s going to be a split delivery between Qualcomm and Intel.
As for next year, Apple will definitely launch a 5G iPhone. At that time, at least the flagship models will all switch to Qualcomm’s 5G baseband chips. Since Intel did not say that it will not continue to supply 4G baseband chips in the coming year, Apple’s “old” models will likely continue to adopt Intel products next year. Apple and Qualcomm signed a multi-year chip supply agreement during the settlement last week, so the proportion of Intel chips in Apple products in the future should be reduced year by year until Apple products enter the 5G era.