The standards for the 5G network of the future are now fully completed, it is now also the task of hardware manufacturers to take over the baton. Not only must transmission masts be prepared for the new standard in the short term – the mobile devices that want to connect to the network must also provide support.
Similarly, smartphones, although Apple seems to have a late start – sources report that Apple may not be able to release its first iPhone with 5G in 2020.
This report follows in the weeks after several manufacturers, including Samsung, but also a smaller manufacturer such as OnePlus, have indicated in 2019 already a smartphone on the market with support for the 5G network. Xiaomi even has plans to provide the recently unveiled Mi Mix 3 with 5G in the first quarter of 2019. However, there is a difference in the hardware that the two companies use – nearly all manufacturers of Android smartphones will initially opt for a Qualcomm modem. Apple, on the other hand, has chosen another option, although the word chosen may not be the right word …
Since the beginning of this year, Apple has stopped using Qualcomm modems in the smartphones it publishes. Previously, a mix of Intel and Qualcomm modems was used, but after a lawsuit in which Apple feels badly damaged by Qualcomm, it came to an end.
The patent war now also ensures that Apple has to wait for Intel to have its chips ready. Although Intel already has the 8160 chip ready for 5G networks, Apple does not seem to be happy with it. The energy consumption would be too high, also the size of the chip is not yet usable for smartphones.
According to Fast Company, Apple has already prepared a prototype of an iPhone with support for 5G, although it remains to be seen on the newer Intel 8161 chip that Apple would have in mind for the future smartphone. If that does not work, then there may also be talks with the less well-known chip manufacturer MediaTek for the delivery of 5G chips. All in all an interesting issue, if Apple can not have its first 5G smartphone ready in time, then many others, and especially manufacturers of Android smartphones, will make a profit out of it.