Intel denies halting production of 5G modems following Apple snub

Intel denies halting production of 5G modems following Apple snub

In the communications reviewed, Intel executives described Apple as the "key mobile customer" for the developed 5G mobile modem. "Upholding the Qualcomm request to prevent Apple from importing iPhones that use Intel modem technology, rather than those that integrate Qualcomm modems, would force Intel to reevaluate or drop its plans for developing the next generation of wireless technologies".

Earlier this week, Israeli website Calcalist claimed to have got its hands on internal comms from Intel that confirmed Apple's plans not to use the firm's 5G modems in its 2020 iDevice lineup. Admittedly, Apple's exclusivity deal with Qualcomm had something to do with that.

The report details that there is a "massive effort" inside Apple to launch 5G products and says that the company's decision to not use an Intel 5G modem was a cumulation of "many factors". But Apple probably isn't going to have an iPhone ready for 5G until much later, with 2020 being our best bet for a 5G iPhone.

The introduction of a faster Wi-Fi standard dubbed WiGig (802.11ad), which Sunny Peak does not support, could interest Apple. At least some of the team that was handling primary work on Sunny Peak, however, will be redirected to other 5G efforts to boost Intel's overall 5G program.

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In November it was thought that Intel had a good chance of being Apple's 5G modem supplier due to their ongoing fight with Qualcomm.

Naturally, we don't expect any confirmation from either company on this rumor. But if true, it's bad news for Intel. At the same time, though, heavyweight Qualcomm has been crowing of its growing 5G traction-Qualcomm in February said more than a dozen handset makers around the world have selected its Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem to power their forthcoming 5G phones, an announcement the company argued gives it a 12- to 18-month lead on its competitors in the 5G arena.

That news is bolstered by a recent report that Northland analyst Gus Richard believes Apple may look beyond Intel for phone modems made by MediaTek, and that Apple might also ditch Intel's chips in its Mac laptops. Qualcomm is one of the usual suspects.

Apple has planned to abandon the deployment of Intel radio chips in its 2020 iPhone models.

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