Published: Fri, July 06, 2018
IT&Software | By Alfonso Woods

Intel Halts 5G Modem Development After Losing Orders for 2020 iPhones

Intel Halts 5G Modem Development After Losing Orders for 2020 iPhones

"Upholding the Qualcomm request to prevent Apple from importing iPhones that use Intel modem technology, rather than those that integrate Qualcomm modems, would force Intel to reevaluate or drop its plans for developing the next generation of wireless technologies". But Intel is reportedly not going to be part of the first iPhone 5G model, and Apple's decision may have delivered a massive blow to Intel's expectations. Qualcomm, of course, is hoping to both ink a 5G patent licensing agreement with Apple as well as sell its 5G silicon to the iPhone vendor.

Over the past six months, we've heard a lot from Intel about its upcoming 5G modems that will be used in a new wave of mobile devices. The latter is rumored to be supplying Apple with Wi-Fi chips for future HomePods and reportedly very close to displacing Intel as the secondary modem supplier for future iPhones.

But Apple has decided not to go forward with Intel 5G modems, according to internal communications seen by Calcalist.

If Apple has dumped Intel as its 5G modem supplier, recent reports claim MediaTek could be in the running for Apple's 2020 business.

"In the communications reviewed, Intel executives described Apple as the "key mobile customer" for the developed 5G mobile modem", reads the report.

Using a new Wi-Fi standard known as WiGig (802.11ad) in "any mobile product brings new and unanticipated challenges", the communications said. Citing people familiar with the development, the report claims that the chipmaker has halted the development of its Sunny Peak chip and redirected its engineers to work on other operations.

Still, that doesn't mean Intel hasn't been given the bad news. The company may have to wait a few more years until smartphone vendors start taking its mobile chips seriously.

CTech's sources said that the company is now looking to build an enhanced version of Sunny Peak in a bid to get the chip into Apple's 2022 product lineup.

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