Apple’s 5G iPhone appears to be back on track for a 2020 release, after major developments with two of the California company’s main suppliers.
Intel, who had been pegged as the sole supplier of the 5G iPhone’s modems, confirmed that it was pulling out of the 5G modem business altogether. The news came just a week after reports first surfaced suggesting it was struggling to meet Apple’s tight deadlines.
The announcement came just hours after it was revealed that Apple and chip maker Qualcomm had settled their long–lasting legal battle.
In a statement, they said, “Qualcomm and Apple today announced an agreement to dismiss all litigation between the two companies worldwide. The settlement includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm.
5G rollout: Five things you need to know
“The companies also have reached a six-year license agreement, effective as of April 1, 2019, including a two-year option to extend, and a multiyear chipset supply agreement.”
Analysts now believe that Qualcomm will supply 5G modems for next year’s top–end iPhone. Apple is unlikely to want to deal with key rival Samsung, while rumours about Huawei offering their chipsets for the device appear to be wide of the mark.
If Qualcomm is brought on board, it will likely end any lingering concerns that Apple would not be able to offer a 5G iPhone next year.
Such a delay would have been a major setback for Apple, especially with Samsung readying its Galaxy S10 5G for release this summer, with OnePlus due to reveal its own 5G–packing OnePlus 7 in June.
5G networks are set to go live across the UK by the end of 2019. Apple is banking on high costs and lack of nationwide infrastructure forcing consumers to wait until they upgrade to 5G phones.
All major UK networks are currently testing 5G networks.