Qualcomm President: Priority Number One is Launching Apple's 5G iPhone as Fast as Possible

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Apple and Qualcomm are working to launch a new 5G iPhone as fast as possible, Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon said at Qualcomm's Snapdragon Tech Summit this week, reports PCMag.

The main goal of Qualcomm's renewed relationship with Apple is to get the iPhone launched on time, with rumors suggesting Apple's 5G iPhones are going to come in the fall of 2020. "Priority number one of this relationship with Apple is how to launch their phone as fast as we can. That's the priority," said Amon.


Given the need to get the phone out at the proper time, Amon said that while the first 5G iPhone will use Qualcomm modems, it might not include all of Qualcomm's RF front end. An RF front-end includes the circuitry between components like the antenna and receiver and it is important for boosting signal from various networks.

As PCMag points out, Qualcomm has called its newest Snapdragon modem chip a "modem-RF system," suggesting that eking out the best signal requires Qualcomm-created RF front-end components.

Apple instead will likely use its own technology and components alongside Qualcomm's modems in its 2020 iPhone lineup, which is something that the company has also done in prior years, but Apple will need to use Qualcomm millimeter wave antenna modules as it manufactures the only components that work with Verizon and AT&T's 5G networks at this time.

Right now, rumors suggest all of Apple's iPhones coming in 2020 will use 5G, though one rumor yesterday indicated that not all iPhones may support both mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G, the two kinds of 5G technology that are in the works.

Higher-end devices may be able to take advantage of mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G, while there's a possibility that Apple's more affordable devices will be limited to the sub-6GHz networks.

mmWave is the fastest 5G technology, but given its limited range, it's likely to be limited to major cities and urban areas. Sub-6GHz 5G is slower than mmWave 5G, but it will be able to be used in suburban and rural areas, and will still offer speeds faster than 4G LTE.

Apple and Qualcomm settled their long running legal dispute in April and inked a multi-year contract that will see Apple using Qualcomm modems in its devices going forward. Apple was forced to come to an agreement with Qualcomm after Intel was unable to meet Apple's modem needs.

Intel ultimately sold most of its smartphone modem business in July, and while Apple is working on its own modem chips, it will be reliant on Qualcomm in the near future. Given the late settlement between Apple and Qualcomm, the two have had to rush to get Qualcomm technology ready for 2020 iPhones.
"We re-engaged probably later than both of us would like, and I think we've been working together to try to get as much as possible done, and take as much possible advantage of what they've done before so that we can actually launch a phone on schedule with 5G," Amon said.
Amon went on to say that Qualcomm has a "multi-year agreement" with Apple. "We're setting no expectations on front end, especially because we engaged it very late," Amon explained. Overall, Amon said that he's "very happy" with the progress that's being made. "I expect that they're going to have a great device."

Article Link: Qualcomm President: Priority Number One is Launching Apple's 5G iPhone as Fast as Possible
 

Cosmosent

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Apr 20, 2016
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If I'm "Reading the Tea Leaves" correctly, the 2020 iPhones will NOT be released in Sept 2020 !

They may be announced in Sept 2020, but sounds like release could be months later.

And, it sounds like Qualcomm does NOT want to get blamed for any delay, so they put this out there !

Disclaimer: I am an EE who has worked at Qualcomm.
 

justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
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I'm a rolling stone.
Apple and Qualcomm settled their long running legal dispute in April and inked a multi-year contract that will see Apple using Qualcomm modems in its devices going forward. Apple was forced to come to an agreement with Qualcomm after Intel was unable to meet Apple's modem needs
That's your take on it/opinion, did MR sit at the negotiation table?
Qualcomm felt the heat, they lost several cases and IIRC there are still running cases against Qualcomm regarding their unfair business practises.
 

smulji

macrumors 65816
Feb 21, 2011
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Testing and validation of the baseband normally takes 12-18 months. Qualcomm and Apple settled in April 2019. Ramping of new iPhone begins in July 2020 and mass production is in August 2020. That's one heck of a rush.
Well recent reports / rumors state that only 1 iPhone 202 model will get the fastest 5g mmWave so that may help alleviate things.
 

spartan1967

macrumors newbie
Nov 9, 2019
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Will be waiting for thorough examination by the beta testers for this one.
Fool me once with the software which is iOS 13 amounts to Not fooling me twice with the hardware which will be the iPhone 5G.
 
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szw-mapple fan

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2012
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If I'm "Reading the Tea Leaves" correctly, the 2020 iPhones will NOT be released in Sept 2020 !

They may be announced in Sept 2020, but sounds like release could be months later.

And, it sounds like Qualcomm does NOT want to get blamed for any delay, so they put this out there !

Disclaimer: I am an EE who has worked at Qualcomm.
Doubt it. If 5G isn't available to launch with Apple's normal release schedule, I'm guessing they'll just push it to 2021 instead. They did they same with their 4G iPhone 5 launch as well when many expected the 4s to be 4G.
 
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PC_tech

macrumors member
Jan 17, 2019
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That's your take on it/opinion, did MR sit at the negotiation table?
Qualcomm felt the heat, they lost several cases and IIRC there are still running cases against Qualcomm regarding their unfair business practises.
They felt the heat but....... Apple settled with them? Does that really make sense to you?
 
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JPack

macrumors 601
Mar 27, 2017
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That's your take on it/opinion, did MR sit at the negotiation table?
Qualcomm felt the heat, they lost several cases and IIRC there are still running cases against Qualcomm regarding their unfair business practises.
Tim Cook set out to change the way Qualcomm fundamentally does business. Qualcomm still does business the same way.

Apple didn't like the "no license, no chips" policy. End result? Apple ponied up $4.5 billion and signed a multi-year license deal. You don't need to sit at the table to figure out who won.

The international trade dispute is the same. All that effort just to get a certain country to buy the same amount of soybeans as before.
 

JosephAW

macrumors 68030
May 14, 2012
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As fast as possible? How about an iPhone 11 5G hardware bump release in early 2020?
 

ouimetnick

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Aug 28, 2008
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That's your take on it/opinion, did MR sit at the negotiation table?
Qualcomm felt the heat, they lost several cases and IIRC there are still running cases against Qualcomm regarding their unfair business practises.
Sure. Like Apple didn’t feel any heat to incorporate 5G into their devices to remain competitive with others. It’s not like Apple signed a 4.5 billion multi year agreement or anything. Qualcomm had Apple by the balls here.
 

incoherent_1

macrumors regular
Oct 19, 2016
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I'd guess Apple isn't nearly as worried about Intel modems as the vocal minority here. Because most people have no idea what they have.
Nothing to do with the modems themselves. During the lawsuits, Qualcomm burned their bridge with Apple -- Apple will be moving quickly so they are never reliant on them again. Probably not in time for the 2020 iPhone, but the writing is on the wall.