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Apple 5G iPhone Ambitions ‘Stuffed’ By Intel Deal

Apple who will not have a 5G iPhone until at least 2020 is struggling to find suppliers for the necessary components to build the product according to sources.

The biggest problem is that Apple chose Intel after dumping Qualcomm a leader in 5G development with Samsung tipped to be one saviour, but it could come at a price.

According to Cowen Research, Apple is “in a difficult position” given its reliance on Intel’s modem products, and it has four options to deal with the situation, “none of which is ideal.”

Cowen is also cautious about Apple’s ability to deliver a 5G smartphone 2020.

Added analyst Matthew Ramsay, “our industry contacts at MWC remained as surprised as we are that Apple is in this situation,”

Apple’s first option, Cowen wrote, is to “launch 18 months after 5G competition with an inferior modem from Intel likely without mmWave capabilities,” referring to the band of spectrum that can be used for 5G’s high-speed wireless communications.

Bloomberg said that another option would be to “source a 5G modem from chief competitor Samsung,” Cowen wrote, though it added that would likely come only on “tough commercial terms.”

Using a 5G modem from Huawei is “off the table as an option,” Cowen told clients, while “MediaTek’s stack is too far behind in terms of timeline.”

Apple could also settle its disputes with Qualcomm and revert back to its modems, but Cowen asked, “might it be too late already?” The two firms have been locked in a multi-year legal battle surrounding patent infringements.

The company’s fourth option would be to purchase Intel’s modem business and develop the necessary components internally.

Cowen wrote that this was “a reasonable but expensive long-term solution,” and one that “would be VERY difficult against a 2H20 timeline.”

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