Apple's Plans to Release 5G iPhone in 2020 Could Be Stymied by Intel Delays

Intel is having trouble meeting deadlines for the XMM 8160 5G modem that Apple is counting on to add 5G connectivity to its 2020 iPhone lineup, reports Fast Company.

Citing a source with knowledge of Intel and Apple's relationship, Fast Company says that Intel has been missing developmental deadlines on the 5G chip, leading Apple to lose confidence in Intel.

Intel 5G Modem
For a September 2020 launch, sample chips need to be provided to Apple this summer, and a finished modem design needs to be available by the beginning of 2020. Intel has said its chips will be in mobile devices by 2020, and has plans to ship the 8160 5G chip in the second half of 2019, but it's not clear if it will make those target dates.

Apple began using Intel chips alongside Qualcomm chips with the launch of the ‌iPhone‌ 7 and ‌iPhone‌ 7 Plus, and in 2018, Intel was Apple's exclusive LTE chip supplier for the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max following Apple's legal woes with Qualcomm.

Rumors have suggested that Apple is planning to introduce 5G connectivity in the ‌iPhone‌ in 2020 and is relying on Intel's chips to do so.

Intel and Apple's relationship is said to be tense, and on the Intel side, there have already been three project managers overseeing the development of the modem. Apple has been holding talks with Samsung and Mediatek about supplying modem chips in the near term, but neither company may have chips ready for 2020.

Fast Company's source says that it would make the most business sense for Apple to go back to Qualcomm, but given the ever-increasing legal tensions between the two companies, that seems unlikely.

Apple is preparing to develop its own modem chips in house so that it doesn't need to rely on either Intel or Qualcomm, but those chips are not going to be ready in time for a 2020 5G iPhone launch.

Related Roundup: iPhone 11
Buyer's Guide: iPhone 11 (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
17 months ago
I'll be honest, I'm sick of the Qualcomm issue. Just pay a few bucks and keep up with the rest of the 5G world until there are alternative chips.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
17 months ago
I’m fine with LTE for now. It’s not like i can do anything useful in the phone form factor with near-gigabit internet anyway.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
17 months ago

Fast Company says that Intel has been missing developmental deadlines on the 5G chip, leading Apple to lose confidence in Intel.

Just wait for Intel to cancel the chips altogether, citing an inability achieve their high standards.

See if it's as gut-wrenching for you as it was for us… :(

Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
17 months ago
Meanwhile at Qualcomm HQ:



Well, my Xr’s modem has been surprisingly good. I don’t think I’ll be seeing any 5G service from AT&T in my area even in 2021, so... whatever. 5G capability didn’t even factor into my Android purchase.

Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
17 months ago
As I said in a previous thread:

There are reasons why Apple should release a 5G phone:

1.) Marketing. 5G Android phones will be releasing soon. Next year they will all be 5G.
2.) Future-proofing. Apple loyalists may not jump to Android to get 5G capable phones, but many just wont upgrade their iPhones until Apple offers a 5G capable phone.
3.) Image. Apple’s image is already taking a hit. They’re offering fewer features, dated hardware for higher prices. Offering last-generation-network-access-only doesn’t help their image.

The latest rumors today say (possibly) no 5G iPhone until late 2021 (at the earliest). That’s a long ways away. 5G will be well known, heavily marketed and readily available between now and then. 2.5 years is a lifetime in tech years.

Apple’s foolish Qualcomm battle has painted them into a corner they don’t want to be in. Apologists will come out in droves defending Apple and downplaying this issue, but it’s exactly that: an issue.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
17 months ago
If the Galaxy Note 10 has a 5G version with the Snapdragon X55 modem, consider me gone. Apple is simply too lazy, too entitled and too disingenuous to keep me around.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Warns Against Closing MacBooks With a Cover Over the Camera

Friday July 10, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
Apple this month published a support document that warns customers against closing their Mac notebooks with a cover over the camera as it can lead to display damage. Image via Reddit Apple says that the clearance between the display and the keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances, which can be problematic. Covering the camera can also cause issues with automatic brightness and True Tone....

iPhone Users Who Experienced 'Batterygate' Can Now File to Receive Around $25 Settlement From Apple

Monday July 13, 2020 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this year, Apple agreed to settle a U.S. class action lawsuit that accused the company of "secretly throttling" older iPhone models. Now, eligible iPhone owners are beginning to be notified about their legal rights and options. Under the proposed settlement, Apple will provide a cash payment of approximately $25 to each eligible iPhone owner who submits a claim, with its total payout ...

Apple Moving Forward on Semitransparent Lenses for Upcoming AR Headset

Friday July 10, 2020 7:24 am PDT by
Apple and Foxconn have reached a key milestone in the development of Apple's long-rumored augmented reality headset, with the semitransparent lenses for the device moving from prototype to trial production, reports The Information. Apple is developing the lenses on a single production line at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu in southwestern China, where most of Apple’s iPad production is...

Arm-Intel-PowerPC Universal Binaries Are Possible

Saturday July 11, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
Casual MacRumors visitors may not realize that we have a very active PowerPC forum where users discuss issues related to PowerPC Macs that have not been produced since 2006. Threads range from hardware upgrades and software options to nostalgia: Photo by AphoticD Apple's recently announced transition to Apple Silicon (Arm) based Macs raised some interesting questions about future support...

Possible 'iPhone 12' Battery Certifications Suggest Lower Capacities Than iPhone 11 Series

Monday July 13, 2020 4:22 am PDT by
MySmartPrice has spotted certifications for three new Apple batteries that it believes could be for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, despite them being less capacitive than the batteries in the current iPhone 11 series. The batteries are identified with the model numbers A2471, A2431, and A2466, and appear on Safety Korea, China's 3C, and the Danish agency UL Demko. Apple is expected to...

Leaker: 'iPhone 12 Pro' to Come With 6GB of RAM

Friday July 10, 2020 1:59 am PDT by
Later this year, Apple is expected to release four OLED iPhones in three display sizes, including 5.4, 6.7, and two 6.1-inch models. Rumors suggest the 6.7-inch iPhone and one 6.1-inch model will be higher-end devices, and now leaker @L0vetodream has corroborated previous rumors about the internal specs of Apple's upcoming lineup. Rumors suggest Apple will use 5-nanometer A14 chips in its...

Kuo: Apple Silicon Macs to Include 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air This Year, 14.1-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro Models Next Year

Friday July 10, 2020 2:58 am PDT by
At last month's WWDC, Apple officially announced that its Mac computers will be transitioned from Intel x86 to homegrown Apple Silicon chips. Apple said it plans to deliver the first Apple Silicon Mac by the end of the year and complete the transition in about two years. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a form factor similar to the current 13.3-inch...

Google to 'Dramatically' Improve Chrome Impact on Mac Battery Life

Sunday July 12, 2020 1:56 pm PDT by
Google will address long-standing battery life issues, particularly on Mac devices, reports The Wall Street Journal. Chrome will improve "tab throttling" by better prioritizing active tabs and limiting resource drain from tabs open in the background. This is said to have a "dramatic impact on battery and performance." Google has reportedly been performing early tests on Mac laptops in...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Public Beta, iPhone 12 Size Comparison, 14-Inch MacBook Pro Rumors

Saturday July 11, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
After one round of developer beta testing, Apple unleashed iOS and iPadOS 14 to a wider audience this week, opening it up to members of the public beta program. There are lots of changes and new features to check out, but as with any beta, be careful about installing it on your main devices. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Other major stories this week included our ...

Apple Shares Humorous 'Working-From-Home Thing' Video

Monday July 13, 2020 9:31 am PDT by
Apple today shared a funny video focused on the problems that people working from home have to deal with, including noisy children, chaotic schedules, communication issues, and more. The video focuses on showing off Apple products and their capabilities that can be useful when working from home, such as the ability to scan a document with an iPhone, mark up a PDF, Siri Reminders, and more.The...