Apple Reportedly Drops Intel for 5G Modems

Dan Jones
7/5/2018
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Apple has reportedly dropped Intel as the 5G modem supplier for its initial next-generation iPhones. Intel, however, said its plans haven't changed.

Israeli tech publication CTECH cites documents seen and sources that say that Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) won't be using Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)'s "Sunny Peak" 5G modem in its initial 5G iPhone, which it was planning to launch in 2020. (See Apple in Hiring Frenzy for 5G Device Design and Intel Wants to Be a 5G Player.)

"Intel's 5G customer engagements and roadmap have not changed for 2018 through 2020," said an Intel spokeswoman in an email to Light Reading. "We remain committed to our 5G plans and projects."

If the CTECH report turns out to be true, Apple could use other suppliers for early 5G modem chips, notably Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM). However, Apple and Qualcomm have a long-term lawsuit ongoing, but Apple has still been using the chip designer for 4G modems, along with Intel. (See Apple Trying to Drop Qualcomm – Report.)

Qualcomm has previously said that it expects the first 5G smartphones to arrive in the first half of 2019. (See Qualcomm: The First 5G Smartphone on Display?)

The first 5G fixed and mobile networks are supposed to arrive in the US in late 2018, with widespread deployment in 2020.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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bosco_pcs
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bosco_pcs,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/6/2018 | 3:01:22 PM
Re: Their own modem?
If memory serves, there was a panic about Apple moving away from Skyworks a long time ago. Fast forward to the present, Skyworks not only remains an Apple vendor but also has been increasing its contributing contents.

So sure, Intel could become another Dialog or Immersion. However, if it behaves more Skyworks and less Qualcomm, it is questionable to pay attention various reports not coming directly from Apple and/or Intel. And there is no reason for either company to leak its strategic initiative.

Therefore, I am quite skeptical. And remember, every year rumors will inevitably bubble up about Apple dumping Intel for its mac design. Again, it is possible. But it hasn't happened yet. Perhaps MBAs should study why Apple moved from IBM power chip to Intel x68 and try not to repeat it instead
DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
7/6/2018 | 8:19:36 AM
Re: Their own modem?
The RF front end could be the sticky point wth mmWave.
Phil Harvey
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Phil Harvey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/5/2018 | 8:33:19 PM
UPDATE: 8:32 PM ET
This story was updated at 8:32 PM ET to add a comment from Intel. 

"Intel's 5G customer engagements and roadmap have not changed for 2018 through 2020," said an Intel spokeswoman in an email to Light Reading. "We remain committed to our 5G plans and projects."
tb100
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tb100,
User Rank: Moderator
7/5/2018 | 5:34:19 PM
Their own modem?
Apple now designs their own ARM processor. Could they have put together a team to design their own modem?
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