2019 iPhones that are expected to be in the market this fall. After that, Apple is likely to switch completely to Qualcomm modems for 5G.
Intel confirms that it will continue to produce the 4G modem chips used by Apple, also for the iPhones that will be presented in the fall.
Intel recently announced that it would stop developing 5G modems for smartphones, just after Apple and Qualcomm settle their conflict. During the report on financial results for the first quarter of 2019, Intel CEO Bob Swan said the company will continue to supply 4G modems to Apple and to all other customers during 2019.
Reuters’ Stephen Nellis noted that Intel will continue to provide the modems of the current models, including the iPhone XS. “Our expectation is that we will continue to deliver the 4G modems this year, including the second iteration of that product, which will come during the new school season in the fall,” said Swan. He meant that on Apple’s iPhone.
If Apple continues to produce the iPhone XS and/or iPhone XR as an entry-level model next year, Intel could also provide the 4G modems for that. Apple originally wanted to use Intel’s 5G chip, the XMM 8160, which was fully developed in recent years. Intel, however, seems to have encountered problems, causing Apple to be driven back into the arms of Qualcomm. There are also rumors that Apple is working in-house on its own modem chip for 5G, which is probably ready as early as 2021.
Meanwhile, Apple might be well advanced in the development of new iPhones for 2019. Apple’s agreement with Qualcomm was probably too late to switch to Qualcomm. Intel’s Bob Swan indicated in an interview that resolving the conflict between Apple and Qualcomm was the direct reason to leave the 5G market, not the other way around.