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Apple’s 2019 iPhones won’t support 5G due to ‘Qualcomm feud’

DESPITE EARLIER RUMOURS to the contrary, a new report claims that Apple’s 2019 iPhones won’t offer support for 5G networks.

Bloomberg report co-authored by noted Apple oracle Mark Gurman claims that Apple won’t introduce a 5G-capable iPhone next year, and will instead “hold off until at least 2020”.

People “familiar with Apple’s plans” suggested that the delay could be related to the company’s feud with Qualcomm, noting that its new BFF Intel won’t have chips available in time to support 2019 phones.

Regardless, it’s a risky move from Apple, as some of its biggest competitors are gearing up to launch 5G devices next year, including Huawei, OnePlus and Samsung, the latter of which is expected to launch a 5G version of the Galaxy S10 in February

“Apple has always been a laggard in cellular technology,” said Mark Hung, an analyst at Gartner, told Bloomberg. “They weren’t impacted in the past, but 5G is going to be much easier to market. But if they wait beyond 2020, then I think they’ll be impacted.”

12/11/18: Apple’s next-gen iPhones will adopt new antenna technology to prepare for the arrival of a 5G-capable handset in 2020. 

We’re still, er, 10 months away from the launch of Apple’s next iPhones, and we’ve already heard murmurs of a notch-less full-screen design, upgraded Face ID tech and a fully OLED lineup.

Apple oracle Ming Chi-Kuo is the latest to offer up some premature predictions about what we can expect from the devices. In a research note seen by 9to5Mac, Kuo says he expects Apple to shift away from Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) antenna technology in favour of a new combination of Modified PI tech, primarily to improve yield rates and simplify the production process.

LCP is more “brittle” than alternatives, Kup notes, and causes issues with yield rate, while the Modified PI antenna “can be as good as LCP thanks to the improved fluoride formula.”

Kuo expects Apple to rope in five suppliers to equip it with MPI tech, and predicts that the 2019 iPhone models will adopt four MPI antennae and two LCP antennae; currently, the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max are each equipped with six LCP antenna. 

This all sounds well and good, and, er, fairly boring, and it’s unlikely to be any more exciting for the average consumer, who won’t see any noticeable performance benefits from the antenna switch-up. However, both LCP and MPI will be involved in the push towards 5G technology, and these latest rumours come just weeks after a report claimed that Apple will release its first 5G smartphone in 2020

According to these online murmurs, Apple has already signed up Intel as its 5G modem supplier; the firm is reportedly using Intel’s 8060 chip for testing, but hopes that the 10nm 8161 will provide faster speeds and greater efficiency for the finished product.

As a backup, Apple will turn to MediaTek. Of course, Qualcomm also has its own X50 modem for 5G, but given the escalating legal battles between the chip giant and Apple, you would imagine that a deal will only be struck there once hell freezes over. µ

Further reading

Source : Inquirer

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