With Apple 5G modem likely in 2021, prospects for 5G iPhone in 2020 'in jeopardy'

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 3
Apple is running up against pre-production deadlines to have an 5G modem in the 2020 iPhone, so it may wait until Apple is done with an in-house solution in 2021 a UBS analyst said on Wednesday.

iPhone XS and XS Max


"Barring settlement w/QCOM [Qualcomm] in the next few months, field work suggests Apple is increasingly in jeopardy of being unable to ship a 5G iPhone in 2020," wrote UBS' Timothy Arcuri. Intel likely won't be ready with a single-chip, backwards-compatible 5G modem in time, he continued, asserting that alternatives like Samsung and Mediatek are either "technically or practically" outside Apple's wheelhouse.

Arcuri reiterated his belief that Apple is working on a self-designed modem for 2021, and that Intel should sell its modem operation, possibly even to its current largest client, Apple. iPhones are now almost entirely based on Intel modems, the only exceptions being to skirt bans because of the ongoing legal war between Apple and Qualcomm.

Apple has reportedly been restructuring its internal hardware teams, possibly with a 5G modem in mind. Senior VP of hardware technologies Johny Srouji is allegedly overseeing that modem design, but it's unknown how far along development might be. Apple has been designing other chips for about a decade, such as A-series processors and W-series wireless modules.

Intel's 5G model will appear first in backbone and other commercial gear in 2019. The first consumer phones with Intel 5G modems are expected in 2020, which casts doubt on UBS claims. To be in an iPhone however, modem samples will have to arrive in time for testing, integration, and optimization, and at present it isn't clear where Intel and Apple are on that timeline.

Tangentially, Arcuri said that UBS is estimating that about 470 million of the 900 million iPhones in Apple's install base are "firsthand" purchases, "and thus the proper denominator against which to estimate upgrade rate." The firm calculates that of 204 million iPhones sold in 2018, 140 million were upgrades, giving Apple a rate of 3.4 years.

"While it is possible/likely this continues to lengthen, AAPL remains steadfast in its estimate that actual upgrade rates are [less than] 3 yrs which suggest we are now actually below full replacement rates - a factor which should soften any potential impact from the lack of a true 5G phone in 2020," the analyst commented.

He estimated that there could be as many as 185 million iPhone 5, 5s, 5c, SE, 4S, and 4 units in use, most of them secondhand, though they could be a "big opportunity over the coming years maybe catalyzed by creative lease/service offerings."

Today, the "realistic pool for services engagement" is between 500 and 600 million iPhones, Arcuri said, arguing that penetration by Apple TV Channels and Apple TV+ will be "deeper and faster" than Apple Music.

UBS is holding a "buy" rating for Apple stock with a $215 price target.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,958member
    Don't believe what you read or hear. Apple can get 5G modem chips from other manufacturers like MediaTek,Samsung. And if Intel can offer 5G modem engineering development sample chip in early 2019 than Intel will have iPhone ready 5G chip for 2020. Based on past experience, Intel knows not to loose Apple's business and will make it happen no matter what.

    Furthermore, rumor about 2020 iphones with screen sizes 5.42-inch, 6.06-inch and 6.67-inch diagonally will make it perfect upgrade for millions of iPhone users holding on to older iPhones. The 5.42 screen(in iphone 6/7/8 4.7" frame) is new smaller 4" replacement iPhone, 6.06 is new XR, 6.67 MAX is even bigger. Every such news is rumor/fake until it really happens.

    edited April 3 designr
  • Reply 2 of 41
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,806member
    2021 is fine at this point. There's no evidence that even a single city will have sufficient coverage to make '5G' viable. This tech has a lot of downsides in terms of geography and physical obstacles. Does no one remember the issues with getting '3G' and '4G' with a wider spectrums rolled out in cities?

    i was here and recall both the people complaining about a lack of coverage in an area and not wanting cell towers to ruin their neighborhood views, to the legal red tape that made new towers in SF hard to pass to the relatively easy cities like Houston.
    edited April 3 designrlkruppracerhomie3seanismorrisDanManTXapplesnorangesrepressthis
  • Reply 3 of 41
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,312member
    “In jeopardy”... whooh, sky’s fallin you guys! 

    Will the 5G networks even be ready by then? I barely have 4G where I live (USA). Sometimes get dropped to EDGE. my guess is there’s plenty of time to get 5G in phones. But I’m far from an expert on the matter.

    ”penetration... deeper and faster” 🤨🙄😑

    also, AI, do you have a misslinked word there?


    edited April 3
  • Reply 4 of 41
    Soli said:
    2021 is fine at this point. There's no evidence that even a single city will have sufficient coverage to make '5G' viable. This tech has a lot of downsides in terms of geography. and physical obstacles. Does no one remember the issues with getting '3G' and '4G' with a wider spectrums rolled out in cities?
    Exactly, this is a deja vu moment when in 2011 everyone was complaining that the iPhone 4S didn’t have LTE so it was going to be a failure. There was only 1 device, the HTC Thunderbolt that was readily available that was capable of using LTE, but hardly any network had significant coverage.  That device was so power hungry, that CNET tried to test its ability to navigate in a car using its LTE network and the device would drain faster than the car charger could charge it. 

    I still say all of this 5G hype is part of Qualcomm’s plan to hammer Apple and the carriers plan to raise your currrent rate of your data plan. 

    Fool me twice. 
    cornchipracerhomie3repressthis
  • Reply 5 of 41
    gutengelgutengel Posts: 269member
    What are you talking about?! 5G'e' is here! Working on my iPhoneX! Thanks to AT&T!!! I mean, my reception is terrible 60% of the time, but when it work it works on 5G'eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee'!
    DanManTXmuthuk_vanalingamMplsPbeowulfschmidtrepressthis
  • Reply 6 of 41
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,091member
    No one except nerds care. 
    flyingdp
  • Reply 7 of 41
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 326member
    Soli said:
    2021 is fine at this point. There's no evidence that even a single city will have sufficient coverage to make '5G' viable. This tech has a lot of downsides in terms of geography. and physical obstacles. Does no one remember the issues with getting '3G' and '4G' with a wider spectrums rolled out in cities?
    Even in big cities now a days, LTE are still not getting the best speed as advertised unless you’re very close the relay antennas, so 5G is a good gimmicks on the first 5 years in US. SoKoria has however one of the fastest LTE for now and for sure when 5G matures there...
  • Reply 8 of 41
    I’d like to replace my 6s Plus with a new iOS device. 
    This is a pricey adventure and I want to make sure before I layout $1500-$2000 the device is 5G capable. 
    Apple could solve this problem quite easily if they could sort out their problems with Qualcomm. 
    I agree the 5G infrastructure isn’t there yet.  But Apple needs to have their devices 5G ready so it’s only a matter of a iOS update to turn it on.  

    Figure it out Apple, sooner than later!!!😡
  • Reply 9 of 41
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,028member
    gutengel said:
    What are you talking about?! 5G'e' is here! Working on my iPhoneX! Thanks to AT&T!!! I mean, my reception is terrible 60% of the time, but when it work it works on 5G'eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee'!
    Sarcasm? You do understand 5Ge is not 5G don’t you? It’s simply a marketing ploy that mimicked the initial 4G announcements. 
    gutengel
  • Reply 10 of 41
    GG1GG1 Posts: 252member
    swiftrun said:
    I’d like to replace my 6s Plus with a new iOS device. 
    This is a pricey adventure and I want to make sure before I layout $1500-$2000 the device is 5G capable. 
    Apple could solve this problem quite easily if they could sort out their problems with Qualcomm. 
    I agree the 5G infrastructure isn’t there yet.  But Apple needs to have their devices 5G ready so it’s only a matter of a iOS update to turn it on.  

    Figure it out Apple, sooner than later!!!😡
    Don't wait for 5G. There are two parts to 5G - the first is the 5G overlay on EXISTING frequencies (less than 6 GHz). The second is the frequency extension to millimeter wave frequencies (25+ GHz). The former should only require a modem change (existing antennas should be OK), but it's the latter that will also require now mmWave antennas to be added - that should take a few phone iterations to get the mmWave antennas optimized.

    So I highly suspect that any phone that ships this year that says it supports 5G will only be supporting the first part.
    flyingdpjcs2305DanManTXmuthuk_vanalingamrepressthis
  • Reply 11 of 41
    This has to be a very odd situation for Intel.  If Apple is developing their own modem for 2021 when why would Intel be putting resources into their wireless division for one customer, for one product launch.

    I think there is more likely an “understanding” that Apple will buy Intel’s business after the lawsuits are resolved.  My question is want else is tied to this “understanding”?  My bet is an “under the table” agreement for X number of years with Intel processors being used in Apple’s non-laptop machines...
    badmonk
  • Reply 12 of 41
    Johan42Johan42 Posts: 163member
    Can’t even get 4G right and these companies already talking about 5G. Holy sh*t.
    MplsPcornchiprepressthis
  • Reply 13 of 41
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,527member
    Soli said:
    ...
    Does no one remember the issues with getting '3G' and '4G' with a wider spectrums rolled out in cities?
    People don't remember the news from last week anymore...let alone 10 years ago...

    So yes, history is doomed to repeat, in ever shorter cycles.  I believe it is called progress...
    cornchip
  • Reply 14 of 41
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,361member
    Soli said:
    2021 is fine at this point. There's no evidence that even a single city will have sufficient coverage to make '5G' viable. This tech has a lot of downsides in terms of geography and physical obstacles. Does no one remember the issues with getting '3G' and '4G' with a wider spectrums rolled out in cities?

    i was here and recall both the people complaining about a lack of coverage in an area and not wanting cell towers to ruin their neighborhood views, to the legal red tape that made new towers in SF hard to pass to the relatively easy cities like Houston.
    Johan42 said:
    Can’t even get 4G right and these companies already talking about 5G. Holy sh*t.
    Exactly. The only true advantage I see with 5G for mobile phones is that it will force the companies to put up more antennas so we might actually be able to bet decent 4G coverage. I hear people talking and touting all the benefits of 5G, but I can't for the life of me understand why they need it on their mobile phone.
    • Greater speed - full LTE speeds are sufficient to stream 4k video (which is actually overkill on a cell phone, anyway, but may be useful on a tablet) Also, I've seen reports stating that "90% of the 5G in the next several years will be 3.5GHz with speeds comparable to LTE." 
    • Less latency - useful for real time control of a car and remote surgical operations, but we're not using our iPhones for that. Gaming and remote drone operation are the two applications I can possibly see this being useful for. I'm not sure how big the real-time gaming market is on mobile phones, but it strikes me as being pretty small. Ditto the number of people who need that kind of responsiveness for drones. Later generation LTE is capable of latencies less than 10 msec which is more than adequate for 99% of people.
    • IoT - everyone keeps mentioning internet of things but I haven't seen how 5G is necessary for this other than it allowing more connections. More importantly, I don't see how this directly impacts use of a mobile phone. Your refrigerator can connect on 5G and your phone on 4G. 
    • Self-driving cars - reportedly need the speeds and decreased latency. This is like the IoT argument. just because your car needs 5G doesn't' mean your mobile phone does.
    The only possible advantage I can see in the near term is if the increased bandwidth actually allows your phone to achieve speeds in congested areas where it couldn't with 4G. I'm guessing on this one, though, as I've never actually seen anyone talk about this. There may be applications developed in the future for which phones need 5G, but those are going to be years away. For now 4G LTE is just fine.


  • Reply 15 of 41
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,806member
    MplsP said:
    Soli said:
    2021 is fine at this point. There's no evidence that even a single city will have sufficient coverage to make '5G' viable. This tech has a lot of downsides in terms of geography and physical obstacles. Does no one remember the issues with getting '3G' and '4G' with a wider spectrums rolled out in cities?

    i was here and recall both the people complaining about a lack of coverage in an area and not wanting cell towers to ruin their neighborhood views, to the legal red tape that made new towers in SF hard to pass to the relatively easy cities like Houston.
    Johan42 said:
    Can’t even get 4G right and these companies already talking about 5G. Holy sh*t.
    Exactly. The only true advantage I see with 5G for mobile phones is that it will force the companies to put up more antennas so we might actually be able to bet decent 4G coverage.
    If this results in better coverage, faster speeds, and increased reliability for '4G' then I say bring on the '5G'.


    PS: Personally, I'm more interested in Apple's patent that could allow ad-hoc piggybacking between devices that aren't near a cell tower. If I could be out in a national park where there is little to no coverage, but enough people that even an iMessage could hop from iPhone to iPhone until it reaches a cell tower that would be very useful for me.

    edited April 3 gutengel
  • Reply 16 of 41
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,455member
    Verizon released 5G in 2 U.S. cities today and plans to roll it out to 28 more major cities by the end of the year.  That means it will be available to most of the people in U.S.  - unless they have an iPhone.  And, as Verizon reported:  5G is a major upgrade - not a transition like 3G to 4G.

    If Apple can’t have a phone ready by September, they’ll have to adjust their annual (Sept) rollout schedule because otherwise that means 2021 for them - and many people won’t wait around.   Apple may never recover their lost customers if they wait till 2021. 

    Again, this is not a technical issue but a supplier issue.   Other phones will have 5G.   Lots of them. 


    muthuk_vanalingamtenthousandthings
  • Reply 17 of 41
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,455member
    Verizon CEO interview on today’s 5G rollout

    https://apple.news/Al4xBgbk5S4WY8iAOkCGq0g
  • Reply 18 of 41
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,919member
    Verizon released 5G in 2 U.S. cities today and plans to roll it out to 28 more major cities by the end of the year.  That means it will be available to most of the people in U.S.  - unless they have an iPhone.  And, as Verizon reported:  5G is a major upgrade - not a transition like 3G to 4G.

    If Apple can’t have a phone ready by September, they’ll have to adjust their annual (Sept) rollout schedule because otherwise that means 2021 for them - and many people won’t wait around.   Apple may never recover their lost customers if they wait till 2021. 

    Again, this is not a technical issue but a supplier issue.   Other phones will have 5G.   Lots of them. 


    That's because other phone are using Qualcomm modems. If Apple is making their own modems, in hindsight maybe they should have just stuck with Qualcomm until they implemented their own modems into iPhones
    chemengin
  • Reply 19 of 41
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,455member
    MplsP said:
    Soli said:
    2021 is fine at this point. There's no evidence that even a single city will have sufficient coverage to make '5G' viable. This tech has a lot of downsides in terms of geography and physical obstacles. Does no one remember the issues with getting '3G' and '4G' with a wider spectrums rolled out in cities?

    i was here and recall both the people complaining about a lack of coverage in an area and not wanting cell towers to ruin their neighborhood views, to the legal red tape that made new towers in SF hard to pass to the relatively easy cities like Houston.
    Johan42 said:
    Can’t even get 4G right and these companies already talking about 5G. Holy sh*t.
    Exactly. The only true advantage I see with 5G for mobile phones is that it will force the companies to put up more antennas so we might actually be able to bet decent 4G coverage. I hear people talking and touting all the benefits of 5G, but I can't for the life of me understand why they need it on their mobile phone.
    • Greater speed - full LTE speeds are sufficient to stream 4k video (which is actually overkill on a cell phone, anyway, but may be useful on a tablet) Also, I've seen reports stating that "90% of the 5G in the next several years will be 3.5GHz with speeds comparable to LTE." 
    • Less latency - useful for real time control of a car and remote surgical operations, but we're not using our iPhones for that. Gaming and remote drone operation are the two applications I can possibly see this being useful for. I'm not sure how big the real-time gaming market is on mobile phones, but it strikes me as being pretty small. Ditto the number of people who need that kind of responsiveness for drones. Later generation LTE is capable of latencies less than 10 msec which is more than adequate for 99% of people.
    • IoT - everyone keeps mentioning internet of things but I haven't seen how 5G is necessary for this other than it allowing more connections. More importantly, I don't see how this directly impacts use of a mobile phone. Your refrigerator can connect on 5G and your phone on 4G. 
    • Self-driving cars - reportedly need the speeds and decreased latency. This is like the IoT argument. just because your car needs 5G doesn't' mean your mobile phone does.
    The only possible advantage I can see in the near term is if the increased bandwidth actually allows your phone to achieve speeds in congested areas where it couldn't with 4G. I'm guessing on this one, though, as I've never actually seen anyone talk about this. There may be applications developed in the future for which phones need 5G, but those are going to be years away. For now 4G LTE is just fine.


    Verizon today announced 300-1,000Mbs 5G with 30ms and coverage for 30 cities by year-end.  

    That’s a lot faster than my cable.  I don’t see what your problem is. 
    ....   Oh!   Apple won’t have a phone.   Got it. 
    muthuk_vanalingamchemenginairnerd
  • Reply 20 of 41
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,768member
    GG1 said:
    swiftrun said:
    I’d like to replace my 6s Plus with a new iOS device. 
    This is a pricey adventure and I want to make sure before I layout $1500-$2000 the device is 5G capable. 
    Apple could solve this problem quite easily if they could sort out their problems with Qualcomm. 
    I agree the 5G infrastructure isn’t there yet.  But Apple needs to have their devices 5G ready so it’s only a matter of a iOS update to turn it on.  

    Figure it out Apple, sooner than later!!!😡
    Don't wait for 5G. There are two parts to 5G - the first is the 5G overlay on EXISTING frequencies (less than 6 GHz). The second is the frequency extension to millimeter wave frequencies (25+ GHz). The former should only require a modem change (existing antennas should be OK), but it's the latter that will also require now mmWave antennas to be added - that should take a few phone iterations to get the mmWave antennas optimized.

    So I highly suspect that any phone that ships this year that says it supports 5G will only be supporting the first part.
    Except Huawei, which says its Balong 5000 is already NSA and SA compatible (apart from being multi-mode too).
    GeorgeBMacmuthuk_vanalingam
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