Apple's Plans to Release 5G iPhone in 2020 Could Be Stymied by Intel Delays

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. Bustycat macrumors regular


    Jan 21, 2015
    Kaohsiung, Taiwan
    Visible lights exhibit much much much higher radio frequency.
  2. ChrisMoBro macrumors 6502


    Oct 31, 2016
    Oh you are just too funny. That used to be the case but not anymore. Just look at the mess with MacBook keyboards.
  3. ksec, Apr 4, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019

    ksec macrumors 6502a

    Dec 23, 2015
    Another one of those articles, from Bloomberg, and now FastCompany ( And previous UBS Report ) whose reporter have little knowledge in how Semi Conductor and Modem Design works.

    1. Intel didn't need the Modem to fill up its Fab, it has been trying to get back into Modem business ever since the acquisition of Infineon in 2010. And Infineon went from one of the best modem supplier to near death under Intel's hand.

    2. Intel needed Apple to get into Modem business with Volume. There isn't another client on the market that uses Standalone modem with sufficient volume. And their partnership with Spreadtrum never planned out.

    3. It is not that Intel Modem had to prioritise Apple so they can't full fill other clients needs. The truth is Intel had no other modem clients. There isn't any one in the industry who want standalone modem, not even in Tablet and PC Space, And even if they do, Qualcomm offers a much more attractive package.

    4. It was Intel's mis management on Fab Capacity. It has absolutely Zero relationship with Intel priorities Modem Orders over high margin CPU business. Their original plan was 10nm will be done in time, everything will move to 10nm while modem could use the 14nm. That didn't work out. And given Intel's rapid expansion of Fab Capacity in a very short space of time it only proves how out of touch their top management ( or BK, ex-CEO ) were.

    5. Even in the case Apple had 1000 engineers by the end of 2017, the chances of an Apple Modem in iPhone for 2021 will be close to Zero. It isn't just about designing the modem that is hard, you need lots of field testing, collaboration with Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia and every MNO in the world to basically Trial and Error. It takes times for Qualcomm, it would take even longer for Apple.

    6. Qualcomm, and now basically everybody else including Huawei and Samsung are all developing their modem while working on the latest Spec. I.e it is a constantly moving Goal Post. It is the only reason why you can have 3GPP Rel 15 Released this year, and have chip shipped to OEM within months while the first Consumer Product sold within 12 months.

    7. In the best case scenario Apple had 1000 engineers working on modem in 2018, the likelihood they have something for iPhone is 2022, and even that pushing a lot of boundaries. A more realistic case would be 2023. And that is assuming their Modem will be good on their first try, which according history, no one, including Huawei, Samsung, Nvidia, Mediatek AND Qualcomm for WCDMA has successfully done so. And in the case it was good, I doubt it will be as good as Qualcomm.

    8. I doubt Apple even had 1000 engineers working on modem as of now. They are certainly recruiting, but not in those numbers yet. The 1000-1200 number seems to be pulled out of previous article from Venturebeat [1] . And because Modem / Wireless Engineers are scarce in the market. Getting enough people to work, again... takes time.

    Edit: A Few more notes.

    I would have thought Swan being CFO and a Financial guy would have counted pennies and be extremely conservatives. If anything Intel since BK left made lots of good changes. The hiring into Graphics, HPC. Recent announcement on FPGA, not very good but at least they are moving. Fab Expansion etc. So I think there is a lot of signs showing Intel is waking up. One possibilities for this article and recent rumours is that Intel thought the modem price to Apple were too low, compared to what Qualcomm were previously charging Apple. And it is likely Intel tries to hike the price of their 5G Modem while Apple is hardballing.
  4. crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2011
    Apple's chips don't have modems built-in, not yet at least.
  5. SBlue1 macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2008
    When considering that I will buy the previous generation iPhone cause of the insane prices and keep it for two to three years that means no 5G for me untill 2024! Great job Apple, NOT!
  6. Classie macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2018
    I’ve come to understand that you yourself create these small animations, correct? Great work - most of them are quite clever! and you seem extremely quick, sometimes almost first comment plus an animation...
    May I ask what you do for a living and what software you use? :)
  7. mikethemartian macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2017
    Melbourne, FL
    Might not be that important for stuff done on the phone directly but still you can tether the phone to a MacBook when WiFi isn’t available.
  8. Steve121178 macrumors 601


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    To not have a 5G iPhone in late 2019 is disappointing, but to not have a 5G iPhone in 2020 is inexcusable.
  9. recoil80 macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2014
    I'm afraid they won't go to Qualcomm to get a 5G modem for 2020, and I don't know if Apple is ready with its own modem. Shipping an iPhone with 4G in 2019 is fine, missing the 2020 deadline would be bad, at least from a marketing perspective. Maybe Intel will be ready, otherwise they'll have to go find another supplier.

    I do think there's still a possibility they can settle with Qualcomm, but only if some court rules in favour of Apple and Qualcomm loses his cases and is forced to review the royalties and provide Apple with modems. It should happen in a few months though, so I find it unlikely.

    That's a bummer for ourself as customers. Qualcomm clearly has better modems than Intel, Apple is right about making its own modems, as cellular is in most of product they sell (iPhone, iPad, Watch and maybe Mac in the future...) but until they're not ready they ought to stick with the best third party supplier.
    They may eventually win their legal battle, but that's good for them, not for the customers
  10. Heineken macrumors 65816


    Jan 27, 2018
    I don’t see any problem with that. Maybe by that time the network will be in place to actually be useful.
  11. Onelifenofear macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2019
    While of course, it would be lovely to have 5G...

    1. Even by 2021, there won't be widespread 5g. Barely 4g outside of a lot of cities.

    2. The networks aren't that bothered about it until it becomes a competitive disadvantage. In the UK which is a perfect example of a contained rollout, in 2003 everywhere was 2g still - the company "Three" only operated and invested heavily in 3g - forcing the other networks to catch up. Vodafone, Orange and 02 would have happily stayed on 2g for a few more years as the 3g equipment/installation cost was massive at rollout (I know this as my uncle was the MD of Vodafone) but three was grabbing all the new customers.

    3. I am currently getting 15-70mb depending on the area on 4G... I'd love to know what people will be doing with that massive theoretical 5G speed on a mobile phone. Stream 8k Porn? The only actual use I can see would be to connect to a laptop... I am aware of all the other 5g benefits - the number of users per cell etc - but not had an issue with that in years with LTE - even at huge concerts etc.
  12. partsofspeech macrumors regular


    Apr 6, 2018
    Apple couldn’t think clearly because short term financial gain takes priority. Just pay Qualcomm patent fee while working on your own chip. Make your own in two to three years, and then ditch Qualcomm.
  13. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    Actually, i'd rather a mobile service to support 5G service first, before the phone came out.... This would mean i'd have a 5G phone for few years that i can only connect at LTE...Not good
  14. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    The problem with this argument, harks back to the classic statement of, I don't need a car, and don't see the point, as my horse is great and horses currently do all the things we need.

    Classic thing to say, which as time goes by demonstrated how this is generally not a good stance to take.
  15. recoil80 macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2014
    It depends on how long do you keep your iPhone. If you are on the IUP and change the phone each and every year not having 5G in 2020 isn't a big deal. If you keep the phone for 3-4 years chances are 5G will be widely available while you're still using that phone.
    To me actually it isn't a real problem. I change mine every other year, and 4G is still great so I don't think I'd miss 5G in 2021, I don't even know how the coverage will be in my country.

    Not having 5G in 2020 would be really bad for marketing though. Every major player in the smartphone market will have 5G models by then, and Apple would be the only one left with 4G. That's ok in 2019, not so great in 2020.
  16. Noiseboy macrumors regular

    Dec 25, 2002
    Lurking nearby.
    Bye, I'm sure you'll be missed.
  17. ph001bi macrumors regular

    May 26, 2015
    Anyone knows how to get a kickstarter going? 5G cases for iPhone, available for X, XR, XS, XS Max and whatever is launched in 2019 using the lightning port and Qualcomm chips?
  18. UltimaKilo macrumors 6502

    Nov 14, 2007
    Honestly, I agree with the sentiment here. There's no way 5G will be ready for prime time in 2020 from any major carrier and it's safety is a huge question. Neither AT&T, Verizon, T-mobile or Sprint are anywhere close to launching nationwide; Q1 2021 is optimistic.

    LTE is more than most people currently need and the speeds I'm getting on the XS Max on T-mobile have improved since the iPhone X and I'm sure will only get better.

    Heck, if people start moving over to 5G, doesn't that mean more LTE bandwidth for customers?
  19. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3


    Feb 10, 2011
    The echo chamber works both ways.
  20. MoreRumors? macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2018
    Tim's eyeglass lens
    IMO, if Apple doesn't have 5G phones next, no big deal. If you look at current 4G, it's fine, however, the big problem is coverage. If the coverage for 4G is lacking, just think it will be quite a while before 5G provide sufficient coverage and most likely the large cities will see it first.
  21. WatchFromAfar Suspended


    Jan 26, 2017
    What makes you think a company with zero modem building experience will come-up with a top class product?
  22. mnsportsgeek macrumors 68000

    Feb 24, 2009
    Found Tim’s mom.
  23. cocky jeremy macrumors 601

    cocky jeremy

    Jul 12, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    Trigger nothing. He gave facts.
  24. mnsportsgeek macrumors 68000

    Feb 24, 2009
    And his grandma

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