Accelerated modem chip rollout could make 5G possible in 2019 iPhones

in iPhone edited November 2019
Major 5G chipmakers like Qualcomm and MediaTek are reportedly moving up their launches by a quarter, which could theoretically make a 5G iPhone possible in late 2019, if still improbable.

Apple iPhone XS

Qualcomm is moving up production of all 5G-related chips, including modems and antennas, DigiTimes sources said on Wednesday. That's because "a certain leading smartphone vendor" is allegedly set to launch two 5G smartphones in the first and second halves of 2019.

That vendor is unlikely to be Apple, since the company rarely releases new iPhones before September. It has also veered away from Qualcomm and favored Intel for at least the time being, the result of an ongoing legal war over patents and royalties. All 2018 iPhones use Intel modems despite Qualcomm's technical edge.

Apple may be feeling competitive pressure to adopt 5G, and could potentially turn to Intel if it's one of the chipmakers accelerating its timeline.

Carrier deployment of 5G is still extremely limited and will remain so through at least 2020 for a number of factors. Traditionally, Apple has been slow to support the fastest cellular standards. The iPhone launched without 3G, and didn't support 4G LTE until 2012's iPhone 5. Since then it has also been relatively slow to adopt faster iterations of LTE.

Where available, 5G is powerful enough that it's considered essential to the future of technologies like augmented reality and self-driving cars. Verizon is already marketing 5G as a replacement for landline internet in four U.S. cities.


  • Reply 1 of 10
    tzm41tzm41 Posts: 94member
    That leading vendor is probably OnePlus
  • Reply 2 of 10
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 649member
    Carrier deployment of 5G is still extremely limited and will remain so through at least 2020 for a number of factors.”

    So burden a phone with a chip, and licensing fees, it cannot use for two plus years? Yeah, Apple doesn’t tend to do that. 

    Otoh? A user who really needs 5G won’t be settling for a two or three year old phone to do it with either. We’re bleeding edge all the way. 
    edited October 2018
  • Reply 3 of 10
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,497member
    "Carrier deployment of 5G is still extremely limited and will remain so through at least 2020"

     This is the key sentence in the article. Half the time, I can't get decent LTE speeds, but when I can they are more than adequate. I would rather have a solid, energy efficient 4G LTE modem than a cutting edge 5G modem that I'll never use, may be less power efficient and cost more for the manufacturer to put in the phone.

     I'm trying to figure out who really 'needs' 5G. I'm guessing it's precious few people, and those people tend to update their phones every few years anyway, so if Apple waits a year or two until the service is actually available the net effect will be minimal.
    edited October 2018 PetrolDavetmay
  • Reply 4 of 10
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,144member
    There’s too much hype about 5G. Real 5G won’t be deployed until late 2020, at the earliest. And really, that doesn’t matter. Widespread 5G won’t be seen for another ten years, maybe 15. That’s according to those in the industry.

    and even then, 5G depends on current 4G for most of its services. So most of the time, we won’t even be getting 5G. It doesn’t go through trees, walls and even most windows. Mostly, from what I’ve been reading, transmitters will need to be no more than 30 feet away, at least, in the beginning. After that, maybe 50 feet. Think of how many hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, eventually, of transmitters will be needed to cover the country. How will they be powered? Solar with back-up batteries, very likely. They will be all over the place.

    what about indoors? Good question. Will we all be given several of these for our homes?
    edited October 2018
  • Reply 5 of 10
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,144member
    tzm41 said:
    That leading vendor is probably OnePlus
    OnePlus is not a leading vendor. It’s a rounding error.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,612member
    5G and Gig WiFi 6(802.11ax) will come into phones at the same time earliest in 2020.There probably one or two will jump ahead of others in 2019 but why make phone expensive when can't use 5G/WiFi 6 at most places.
    edited October 2018
  • Reply 7 of 10
    One plus?? They’re probably not making much money
  • Reply 8 of 10
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,996member
    Possibly Huawei or Samsung.

    It's no secret that the Kirin 980 is already Balong 5000 compatible.

    The supposed problem was the power efficiency of Balong 5000 on mobile. Perhaps those issues have been resolved.
    edited October 2018
  • Reply 9 of 10
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,144member
    Again, nobody’s current 5G chips will be useful in another year or two. There’s no point in worrying about 5G now. It’s all marketing.
    edited October 2018
  • Reply 10 of 10
    ciacia Posts: 159member
    LTE is just finally hitting its stride today after being out for years. I'm an AT&T customer and I just drove cross country last week. There's large swaths (Wyoming, Nebraska, parts of Ohio) that only had 4G coverage, and no LTE. And you want me to get excited about 5G that will require lots of dense antennas to work properly compared to even LTE? If I lived in a city I would might be interested, but for the wide open vast area's of this country, just give me a reliable LTE signal and I'll be happy. Then I'll check back in on 5G in 2026 when it's everywhere.
Sign In or Register to comment.