5G iPhone slated for 2020 release, report says

Now that Qualcomm and Apple have settled ongoing litigation and agreed to a six-year patent licensing and supplier deal, one analyst says the iPhone-maker will have a commercial 5G product in 2020.

According to a research note from Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst with TF International Securities, the deal between Apple and Qualcomm “implies new [second-half 2020] iPhone models will support 5G; Qualcomm and Samsung are potential 5G baseband chip suppliers.”

Following the announcement from Apple and Qualcomm last week, Intel quickly said it would scrap its efforts to develop a 5G modem. Kuo called Intel’s efforts “disappointing;” Intel was supplying LTE modems for recent iPhone models.

“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 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-6 GHz markets) for lowering supply risk, reducing costs and having better bargaining power.”

Qualcomm tech, including modems RF front-end and millimeter wave antenna modules, is present in virtually all of the first wave of 5G handsets, including the commercially-available Motorola moto z3 5G mod, which Verizon is using for its mobile 5G launch.

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