Apple Doesn’t Want Intel Inside 5G iPhones

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Apple has reportedly informed Intel that it will not be buying Intel's 5G modem chips for iPhones planned for 2020, according to Israeli news site CTech.

Losing the iPhone business won't be the only thing that could hurt Intel in 2020. It is also said that the fresh decision has pushed the Santa Clara, California-headquartered company to halt the development of its chip that will combine a 5G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth chip under one build and redirected its engineers to other operations. Apple has been gradually building up its chip design capabilities in recent years as it seeks to control as many aspects of its products as possible, from software to hardware to services. As a result, according to the report, Intel halted development on its 5G modem-code-named "Sunny Peak"-and would work on getting Apple's 5G modem business for the company's 2022 lineup". Apple's $1 billion lawsuit against Qualcomm is centered on Apple's argument that Qualcomm charges too much for licenses to its patents for mobile phones. They also noted that the introduction of WiGig (802.11ad) "into any mobile product brings new and unanticipated challenges". Now reportedly Intel has killed off production of its Radio Chips "Sunny Peak following Apple dropping Intel as its supplier". If Apple were to make its own chip, it wouldn't need to buy chips from Qualcomm, as it now does for the majority of iPhones, but may still need to pay licensing fees depending on the result of the legal battle.

In the immediate future, it looks as though Apple will stick exclusively with Intel to provide the modems for its smartphone line-up. Reports earlier this year suggested Apple was looking to shift its MacBook range from Intel's x86 processors to ARM-based chipsets of its own design, extending the expertise it has developed in making custom silicon for iPhone and iPad.

Update: Intel reached out to us explaining that "Intel's 5G customer engagements and roadmap have not changed for 2018 through 2020. We remain committed to our 5G plans and projects".

What do you think Apple will do with respect to modems on the iPhone?