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Intel's 5G modems will not be used in phones until 2020

By Cookie Monster - on 24 Feb 2019, 8:00am

Intel's 5G modems will not be used in phones until 2020

Image source: Intel

Intel does not expect phones with its 5G modem chips to arrive in the market this year.

Sandra Rivera, who manages Intel's networking chip unit, revealed at a media event that sample 5G modem chips will ship to customers later this year and the company does not expect consumer "products in the market" until 2020. However, non-consumer 5G products (e.g. networking gear) are expected to launch later this year.

Since Intel is the exclusive supplier of radio modems for the 2018 iPhone lineup, it is likely that Apple will only launch a 5G iPhone in 2020. This is in line with several reports published over the past year.

Fast Company claimed in November 2018 that Apple will use Intel's 8161 5G modem chips in 2020. Bloomberg followed up with a similiar report in December that Apple is likely to wait as long as a year before launching a 5G iPhone. Apple also approached Samsung and MediaTek to supply 5G modems for 2019 iPhones. 

Apple reportedly moved its modem chip engineering team into its in-house hardware technology group, which suggests a higher priority on designing its own modem chips. The iPhone maker also published job listings for a "cellular modem systems architect". 

Source: Reuters

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