In January this year, Huawei launched the Balong 5000 5G chipset. It is the world’s first single-chip multi-mode 5G chip. Apart from supporting the sub- 6GHz band for 5G connectivity, it is also backward compatible for 4G, 3G, and 2G. The company already confirmed that the Balong 5000 will be used exclusively for its smartphones and IoT devices. However, the latest report suggest the company might start selling its 5G modem that too only for Apple.
The 5G smartphones running on Android are already hitting the market. While the Huawei Mate X uses its in-house modem, all the other devices will be coming with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 5G modem. Looking at the past, we won’t expect Apple to launch the 5G iPhones in 2019. However, the company should offer the new-gen connectivity at least in 2020. With its tussle with Qualcomm, we don’t think the iPhones will be using the Snapdragon modem anytime sooner.
According to the report, both Samsung and MediaTek are unlikely options for the world’s most valuable company. Even with Huawei opening up its door to Apple for its 5G modem, we still don’t think the deal will go past through these rumors. The US government has already banned Huawei from participating in building its 5G infrastructure. In the current political turmoil, we don’t think Apple will partner with a Chinese company for its upcoming devices.
Currently, Apple is sourcing its modems from Intel which is also working on its in-house XMM 8160 5G modem. Though Intel mentioned it to be available in the second half of 2019, the company is failing to achieve its development deadlines. If Intel fails to deliver the 5G modem on time, then the company has to postpone the launch of first ever 5G iPhone. Apple also takes time to thoroughly test the 5G modem for better efficiency.
Looking at all these developments, the 5G iPhone will not be launched any sooner than the September 2020. However, we can only expect delays in this whole process. In 2019, the company is rumored to introduce triple camera setup as seen on the Mate 20 Pro. Unlike the current-gen iPhones, the three iPhones launching later this year will come with OLED panels. Stay tuned on Phone radar for more details!