A couple of months after announcing its 5G-based Mate X foldable smartphone, Huawei has now confirmed that it’s willing to sell its 5G Balong 5000 modems but only to Apple. The news comes as a shock since the Chinese mobile manufacturer has never been keen on sharing its technology to other companies.
A source close to the matter told Engadget that Huawei is smoothening its stance on the sharing of 5G technologies and will be open to selling its Balong 5000 5G chipsets to none other than Apple. That’s especially an interesting take on development since it was Huawei which said that its Balong chips are only designed to work the best with Huawei’s phones and IoT devices.
However, more than Huawei’s willingness, it is Apple which will be looking to make the most of the announcement since it is currently without a 5G modem for its next-generation iPhones. This comes a year after the Cupertino company broke ties with Qualcomm and went with Intel for its modem requirements.
But two months ago, Intel announced that it’ll only be shipping sample pieces of its XMM-8160 5G modem to customers with a commercial rollout estimated sometime next year. This was a big blow to Apple, who happens to be the chipmaker’s biggest customer soon after which the iPhone-maker was reported to be looking at Samsung and MediaTek as its alternatives for the upgrade to 5G.
It’s highly unlikely that Apple will settle things with Qualcomm for the 5G chip and Samsung being Samsung, you can’t expect the South Korean company to share its 5G technologies either. This leaves Apple to either rely on MediaTek or Huawei for integrating its next iPhones with 5G support.
Either Apple goes with MediaTek and snubs Huawei to not worsen the climate between the US-China trade-war or we can witness the partnership with Huawei act as a coolant to the tensions in the region. If it does happen, it will play an important role in settling Huawei’s issues with the US government, though it’s highly unlikely we’ll reach such an agreement before the end of this year, considering the fact that the Chinese company was caught stealing trade secrets from Apple and other companies for its own good.