Kuo: 2020 iPhones to Support 5G, Qualcomm and Samsung Likely to Supply Modems

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2020 iPhones will support 5G networks, with chipmaker Qualcomm likely to be one of two 5G modem suppliers for the devices after settling its high-profile legal battle with Apple last week, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


Interestingly, Kuo expects Samsung to be the other supplier in select markets. Apple frequently aims to diversify its supply chain in an effort to reduce risk and have improved bargaining power, potentially reducing its costs as multiple suppliers engage in a price war to secure the lucrative orders.

An excerpt from Kuo's latest research note, obtained by MacRumors:
Apple and Qualcomm's end of patent dispute and entrance into a six-year licensing deal implies new 2H20 iPhone models will support 5G; Qualcomm and Samsung are potential 5G baseband chip suppliers: The market was worried that Intel's disappointing 5G baseband chip development might be the most severe uncertainty for the new 2H20 iPhone models' adoption of 5G. But we believe the uncertainty has been removed after Apple and Qualcomm's end of patent dispute and entrance into a six-year licensing deal, and Intel's announcement that it will exit the 5G baseband chip business. We expect Apple will likely adopt 5G baseband chips made by Qualcomm (focus on mmWave markets) and Samsung (focus on Sub-6GHz markets) for lowering supply risk, reducing costs and having better bargaining power.
Kuo believes that 5G will be a boon for both iPhone sales and Apple's supply chain in 2020. He forecasts total iPhone shipments of 195-200 million units in 2020, including 70-75 million 5G models released in the second half of the year.

Qualcomm was already the widely expected frontrunner for 5G modems in 2020 iPhones after Intel announced it is exiting the 5G smartphone modem business.

Article Link: Kuo: 2020 iPhones to Support 5G, Qualcomm and Samsung Likely to Supply Modems
 
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johnyslats

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Kuo is merely making the same inferences as the rest of us following last weeks news. Nothing new to report.


Edit: Article updated after initial comment. The Samsung link is new I guess. Please let me have the Qualcomm variant ;)
 
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keysofanxiety

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Nov 23, 2011
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Wow, how did Kuo possibly get this information before it was known that Qualcomm and Apple settled? Oh, wait.

What a hack. He just guesses stuff that's glaringly obvious.
 

RamGuy

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Technology moves forward, so 5G is coming down the line regardless. But how much consumer interest is it for 5G? The Verge and many others seems to put so much focus and importance on 5G but for a cellular phone and for a normal consumer will there be any noticeable push for 5G?

It will take a long time for 5G networks to be widely available, without the network and infrastructure support in the client/device doesn't really matter much. And even when it is ready, as long as 4G/LTE still co-exists for a long time coming how many will actually notice much of a difference besides the logo showing 5G instead of 4G?
 

RamGuy

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Has Apple not learned from dual-sourcing their modems? Some people don’t want the inferior modems, they want Qualcomm. I know I’d rather have theirs than anyone else’s.
I bet Apple knows that the majority of consumers don't know or care whoever supplied the modem hardware within their phones. We have no evidence or real comparisons between Qualcomm's 5G modems and Samsung's 5G modems either so who can say for certain which one are the superior option?

Reminds me of all the nonsense we got when Apple SoC manufacturing was split between TSMC and Samsung, and everyone convinced themselves that the Samsung production nodes was superior but it provided that TSMC was actually superior...

EDIT:

And of course there's a reason why Apple is dual-sourcing. Perhaps Qualcomm can't supply enough modems for Apple to meet production and demand? What if there is some event that hits the Qualcomm production line? Would Apple be stupid enough to not have another source for the chips limiting production? Apple tends to dual-source most of their hardware and for good reason.
 

Andres Cantu

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I bet Apple knows that the majority of consumers don't know or care whoever supplied the modem hardware within their phones. We have no evidence or real comparisons between Qualcomm's 5G modems and Samsung's 5G modems either so who can say for certain which one are the superior option?

Reminds me of all the nonsense we got when Apple SoC manufacturing was split between TSMC and Samsung, and everyone convinced themselves that the Samsung production nodes was superior but it provided that TSMC was actually superior...
That could be, but it just sucks that their same products could have differences and people not even know. And it sucks even more for the people that do.

I just don’t want another Intel scenario.
 

now i see it

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Ok, Ming is blowing smoke this time. He's no more privy to what's going down with 5G modems in 2020 iPhones than the rest of us. He has no insider information at all. Pure speculation.
And the story that there's gunna be both Samsung and Qualcomm 5G modems in iPhones is way off the mark.
Can you imagine the furor when some people find out they have the slower of the two modems in their phone?
 

Khedron

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Smart to wait until 2020, no real value for most in a 5G phone right now.
5G on a phone is overkill, especially if you're on a contract with data limits anyway. I'm most interested in how 5G can replace wired home connections and allow more connected devices in general.
 

udayan81

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Sep 8, 2017
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They can add all the modems they want, but if they don't change the design they'll be deeply disappointed in sales. Non technical users do not really care about specific version or 4g vs 5g, from a new product they want to see a new look and feel ,they want it to remain fast or get faster and take great pics...period. They don't have any other measure points.
 

PickUrPoison

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If true, Kuo just blew a huge hole in the theory that Apple came crawling back to Qualcomm on its knees and was forced to settle in order to have 5G in 2020.

That said, it doesn’t really make sense that Apple would add Samsung as a modem supplier. 1) The whole point of dual sourcing is to reduce supply risk and gain pricing leverage. Neither should be necessary since Apple just negotiated a multi-year supply agreement. TSMC will have no issue cranking out the necessary quantity. 2) To get the reported $8-9 royalty rate for Qualcomm’s baseband chips—cheaper than the $7.50 Apple was paying for 3G modems in the 2007-2011 timeframe, and certainly no more than the 4G modems in the 2013 agreement—Qualcomm would have wanted exclusivity. (But I believe that behavior also has antitrust implications, so maybe exclusivity was no longer a requirement?) 3) Samsung had been playing hard to get, recently claiming they couldn’t sell their 5G modems to Apple because they were unable to manufacture sufficient quantity. 4) Apple is making their own baseband chip, why would they bother second sourcing them for the short period of time they’ll need to rely on anyone else in the first place?
 
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