Apple Considered 5G Modem Chips From Samsung, MediaTek, and Intel for 2019 iPhones
Several countries including South-Korea and America are on the brink of launching 5G telecom networks. OnePlus and Xiaomi have already announced they will be one of the first companies to launch 5G smartphones. Samsung is also expected to launch a 5G variant of the Galaxy S10 in Q1 of 2019. Apple is a global smartphone leader and is apparently working on 5G compatible devices. An Apple supply chain executive revealed that the company had considered purchasing 5G LTE modems for iPhones from companies including Samsung, MediaTek and Intel.
Between the years 2011 and 2016, Qualcomm was the sole supplier for iPhone modems to Apple. This supply contract was ended in 2016 with the launch of iPhone 7. With the iPhone 7, Apple split the orders for modem between Qualcomm and Intel and later phased Qualcomm all together.
According to the Apple executive, the company wanted to purchase modems from other companies but Qualcomm disinclined them in doing so. After Apple finally swapped Qualcomm modems with their Intel counterparts, both companies have been seen locking horns over several patents.
The Apple official said that the company is looking for multiple suppliers for 5G iPhone modems. Apple has considered companies including MediaTek, Samsung and Intel. However, the executive did not reveal whether the company will launch a 5G compatible iPhone in 2019 or not.
Some rumours in the past suggest that Apple does not plan to launch a 5G compatible in 2019 but the company is highly unpredictable. Taking competition into consideration the company might launch a 5G iPhone this year and surprise everyone.