While we expect to see a slew of 5G-capable Android devices making a splash in the market in 2019, don’t expect Apple to rush to join them.
A Fast Company source is alleging that Apple intends to use an Intel 5G modem, the 8161, in its 2020 batch of iPhones.
Apple is reportedly using a precursor 8060 chip for prototyping, but has “heat dissipation issues” (due to the sheer demand needed for millimeter-wave signals) that would both raise the temperature and hurt battery life.
The news, which comes from Fast Company, cites a single source said to have “knowledge of Apple’s plans.”
There had previously been speculation that Apple was eyeing a deal with MediaTek, the Chinese company, which recently debuted its own 5G chip. But, according to the news outlet, MediaTek is only a “plan B” option for Apple if Intel fails to deliver.
The report also notes that Intel is having some issues with its modems that could negatively impact battery life — an issue Apple likely wants to avoid.
So, given what we know about Apple and the readiness of 5G, 2020 would certainly be the earliest we should expect a 5G iPhone.