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July 6, 2018

Apple is reportedly ditching Intel for 5G chips in the iPhone

by John_A

The likes of Intel and Qualcomm may well be locked in a battle over next-gen communications chips, which will help phones connect to futuristic 5G networks in the future. And the biggest of those contracts, at least when it comes to consumer devices, has to be the iPhone. We can now rule out one major player in the race to supply the world with 5G chips — Apple has reportedly notified Intel that it will not be using its modems for 2020 iPhone models. The news was first reported by Calcalist.

The fact that Apple has notified Intel that it won’t be using its chips may have wide implications for Intel. As a result of the decision, Intel has reportedly halted development on a modem internally known as “Sunny Peak,” and the team working on the modem redirected to other Intel efforts. Reports note that Intel expected Apple to be the main customer for these new modems.

All hope may not be lost for Intel. The company is reportedly now focusing on improving its product in an attempt to win Apple back for the 2022 iPhone lineup.

The news isn’t completely surprising. In June, Bloomberg reported that Apple was looking to move away from Intel chips, instead turning to MediaTek for its communications components. On top of that, there have been plenty of reports indicating that Apple was looking to move away from using Intel processors altogether by 2020 — which lines up with this new report.

Of course, until 2020, Intel’s modem business may be better than ever. Apple has also been trying to reduce its dependence on Qualcomm chips, and because of that has moved to using Intel components in modern iPhones. That is likely because of the ongoing legal troubles between the two companies, which are expected to last for some time.

It will be interesting to see what Apple does do come 2020. While it may completely turn to MediaTek for internal components, it may also improve its relationship with Qualcomm, or perhaps it’s hoping to instead use its own tech, which would help give it more control over the iPhone and how much an iPhone costs to make.

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