Published: Fri, July 06, 2018
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Apple might be dropping Intel as their modem supplier for future iPhones

Apple might be dropping Intel as their modem supplier for future iPhones

It said further development of the modem, known internally as "Sunny Peak" had been halted and the staff involved would be directed to other efforts.

Sunny Peak apparently would have combined 5G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth into a single chip for use in upcoming iPhones, and Apple was expected to be its primary purchaser.

Since, however, Intel has debunked the rumours and said it has no plans to halt production of its 5G modem chips.

"In the communications reviewed, Intel executives described Apple as the "key mobile customer" for the developed 5G mobile modem", reads the report. At least not for iPhones with 5G.

Despite losing orders for the 2020 iPhones, Intel is focusing on winning back modem orders for the 2022 iPhone from Apple.

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The news appeared late Wednesday in the Israeli technology journal CTech, which cited Intel officials and leaked internal communications. At the same time, though, heavyweight Qualcomm has been crowing of its growing 5G traction-Qualcomm in February said more than a dozen handset makers around the world have selected its Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem to power their forthcoming 5G phones, an announcement the company argued gives it a 12- to 18-month lead on its competitors in the 5G arena. The 5G chip is capable of transmitting data at up to 5Gbps, roughly on par with Intel's own 5G modems, which have theoretical peak peak data transfers of "over 5Gbps".

Although 5G chips in smartphones will be available in 2019, network adaptation is a bit slower, so large-scale rollout of gigabit speeds is expected in 2020.

This is all after word broke in April that Apple was moving away from Intel by developing its own chips to use in its Mac PCs, too, to be used in its products by 2020. Unlike many online publications, we don't have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.

If Apple makes good on both plans, Intel could be in for a real bruisin'.

One of the biggest losers of the mobile business that Apple shaped for the past 10 years - you know, aside from all the smartphone makers the iPhone destroyed - is Intel. That's just really bad business.

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