Apple has decided against using Intel as its 5G modem manufacturer for 2020 iPhones, according to a report from CTech.
The publication, which said it reviewed internal company communications from Intel, reported that after being dealt the blow, the chipmaker halted development of the modem — codenamed ‘Sunny Peak’ — and disbanded the team.
Apple has not publicly responded to the report. Intel told MobileSyrup via email: “Intel’s 5G customer engagements and roadmap have not changed for 2018 through 2020. We remain committed to our 5G plans and projects.”
In the internal communications, Intel speculated that Apple’s decision was the result of “many factors,” including the introduction of WiGig, a new multi-gigabit Wi-Fi standard.
In a June Bloomberg report, an analyst suggested Apple could replace Intel with chips from MediaTek. Additionally, a previous report stated that Apple is working to create its own chips for Mac computers, phasing out Intel’s chips.
If true, none of this is very good news for Intel, however, the CTech‘s report says the company intends to further improve its 5G modem in an effort to get the modem into Apple’s 2022 mobile devices. On its side is Apple’s quarrelsome relationship with Qualcomm, which has traditionally been a supplier of modems for Apple and has announced several 5G development milestones already.
Reports suggested Apple was ready to cut Qualcomm’s modems out of iPhones altogether this year, but a recently published article from Nikkei suggested Intel fell short of Apple’s needs, necessitating the use of Qualcomm chips.
5G, the next major wireless generation, is expected to begin arriving in wide-scale deployments in 2020, bringing with it multi-gigabit speeds and ultra-low latencies.
Update 7/6/2018: Intel provided comment to MobileSyrup, which has been added above.