5G is incoming and we already have a couple of devices hailing the same thanks Exynos 5G modem, Snapdragon X50 5G modem, and finally, Balong 5000 5G modem that different brands use. However, according to a latest on the 5G network, Apple is still miles away from getting a 5G modem even though reports suggest an estimated release sometime in 2020 but there might be a way out.
To put things into context, Apple used 4G modems from Qualcomm and Intel since 2016, however, in 2018, Intel became the sole chip supplier for iPhones after Qualcomm broke off from the Cupertino-based Apple after the formerly filed patent infringement lawsuit against the latter. As of now, Apple is forced use 4G chips from Intel and it is awaiting its 5G Intel 8160 modem slated to be integrated with 2020 iPhones but the reports suggest otherwise since Intel reportedly skipped several development deadlines. This hints towards an imminent delay for Apple to launch its 5G enabled iPhones.
However, Apple could get help from Chinese bigwigs Huawei which reportedly expressed that it could offer its Balong 5000 5G modem to iPhones and it is open to selling it to Apple to be rolled out as early as 2020 according to a source who knows about the situation. CNet further added that they tried contacting both Huawei and Apple yet to no avail.
This means that if indeed Apple chooses to source Balong 5G modems from Chinese manufacturer Huawei, it could potentially use it in its upcoming iPhones but there’s a catch. Huawei smartphones are banned in the United States and a few other countries and the only way to buy it in the U.S. is to order it from other countries.
However, U.S. government alleged that Huawei has close ties to the Chinese government which is known for its ways to intrude user’s privacy and details which is why Huawei smartphones are banned in the U.S. Apparently, the U.S. government has banned its federal agencies to skip using any product from Huawei due to these issues.
This makes the situation a bit tricky since Apple is the largest smartphone brand in the U.S. and if it sources 5G modems from Huawei, it could open a number of opportunities for the Chinese smartphone maker to open its doors to a potentially large smartphone market.
On the other hand, Apple is in talks with MediaTek and Samsung in order to source 5G modems while it has hired 2,000 engineers to design its own 5G modems but hey, it wouldn’t be an easy and quick task and Apple would end up surpassing its estimated deadline to launch 5G iPhones expected to be out in September 2020 which is usually when Apple usually releases its iPhones.