Apple Reportedly Won’t Have Its Own 5G iPhone Chip Until 2025

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 18, 2019

Granted, it is possible Apple slowed down progress on its own 5G modem design once it knew it was going to sign the deal with Qualcomm. If Apple went with Intel modems for the future iPhone 5G models, the modems would likely not meet the high standards Apple holds for its star product.

In short, Apple really had no choice but to settle with Intel.

Apple is working on designing its own 5G iPhone chips - but those efforts may take awhile.

Intel to exit 5G smartphone modem business: Is this why Apple settled with Qualcomm?

A new report reveals some fresh details about just how strained Apple's relationship with Intel is, as well as Apple's own 5G modem development. If you recall, Apple and Qualcomm entered into a new long-term partnership and chip licensing settlement a month ago. Obviously, there's no point continuing to rush out a new product if Qualcomm's modems will fill the gap for the time being.

In early 2017, senior Hardware Technologies VP Johny Srouji "barked" at Intel's Venkata Renduchintala during a meeting at 1 Infinite Loop, according to a source for The Information.

That includes the key modems that connect iPhones to mobile networks. Specifically, the company is apparently telling employees that the chip is no longer required until 2025. If for whatever reason the custom iPhone modem isn't ready by then, though, the agreement with Qualcomm does allow for a further 2-year extension if requested. There are already predictions that Apple will begin to transition away from Intel chips entirely very soon, possibly even within the next year.

Some publications have also pointed to rumors that Apple is looking to buy Intel's 5G phone modem business, but other reports have said the two companies couldn't reach a deal. Neither company confirmed the reports at the time, but in a statement provided to The Information, the chipmaker did hint at talks. That's why many companies have expressed interest in acquiring our cellular modem assets since our recent announcement that we are assessing our options to realize the value we have created.

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