Apple recently purchased Intel’s 5G smartphone modem business for $1 billion but we only expect the company to develop an in-house 5G modem by 2021. As has been widely suspected, Apple’s 2020 iPhone is now getting more credible information as it’s expected to be the first iPhones to gain 5G cellular support.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has claimed that three iPhones to launch in 2020 will feature support for 5G, reports MacRumors. This is in contrast to Kuo’s earlier report which said that only two of the three 2020 iPhones will come with 5G support.
The move seems to have come from the expansion of 5G usage across new Android phones as the latest cellular technology is expected to reach devices priced at $350 (approx. Rs 24,000) by the second of 2020. This means Apple will enable 5G even on the second generation sibling of the iPhone XR.
Kuo also said that the acquisition of Intel’s 5G smartphone modem business is also what pushes Apple to support 5G sooner. He says the first generation 5G-enabled iPhones will support mmWave and sub-6GHz bands. It’s however unclear whether Apple will decide to launch an iPhone with support for only Sub-6GHz bands which could push the price of the iPhone down and could be developed exclusively for the Chinese market.
Kuo’s notes read “The key is that consumers will think that 5G is the necessary function in 2H20. Therefore, iPhone models which will be sold at higher prices have to support 5G for winning more subsidies from mobile operators and consumers’ purchase intention”.
The 2020 iPhones are expected to come in sizes of 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch and 7.7-inch, all of which will be based on OLED display technology, unlike the 2018 lineup which had the LCD-clad iPhone XR. Meanwhile, Apple’s supplier TSMC has already announced its 5nm chipset design for 2020 iPhone models made with EUV lithography and offering 15 percent speed boost.
While Apple will be using Qualcomm’s technology for a 5G-enabled iPhone next year, the Cupertino company is willing to internally develop a 5G modem for some of its products before the end of 2021. However, Apple won’t be using the in-house 5G modem on its 2020 iPhones right away since Apple’s licence deal with Qualcomm binds them to the semiconductor company for at least six years.