2020 is supposed to be a big year for Apple as the company gears to refresh most of its products. One most talked about point right now is about the 5G iPhone offering from Apple. It has been widely accepted that the company will use Qualcomm’s X55 modem for its 5G network bands.
Last year, Apple settled with Qualcomm after a legal battle. However, for a long time it has been reported that Apple is looking for ways to “go independent” – not relying on Qualcomm for its modems. The Cupertino company Apple also went on to buy Intel’s modem business to start working on its own modem hardware.
Qualcomm v Apple-Intel
A fresh report from Fast Company suggests that the upcoming 2020 5G iPhone could use Apple’s own designed modems. It was initially suggested that Apple will start using its own modems (made possible by the purchase of Intel) starting 2021 or 2022, however it looks like things may go into motion sooner than expected.
The report from Fast Company says that the antenna created by Qualcomm (QTM525) is supposedly too thick for the planned 2020 iPhone design. As a result, Apple is purportedly experimenting with its own 5G mmWave modems to design it according to its needs. 5G is complicated – mmWave network requires multiple antennas to work properly unlike 4G or previous generation of networks.
It looks like Apple has not yet decided whether to go with Qualcomm or use its own modems. It’s unclear as to what issues the company is having with creating its own modems. However, it is clear that Qualcomm is far ahead in creating 5G modems than the Intel division which Apple bought.
Will Apple be able to pull it off with its own modems and match Qualcomm’s product? Only time will tell. For now we know that if the next iPhone is thin, it will be using Apple’s own modems and if it’s thick, it will be using Qualcomm’s modem.