Intel has said that its 5G modems won't be in phones until 2020.
As a result, this could mean that the chip maker's customer Apple won't be launching a 5G iPhone until then.
Intel's 5G Plans
As reported by Reuters, Intel will be shipping out sample versions of its 5G modems to manufacturers this year, but the chips won't be coming to handsets until 2020. This was revealed by Sandra Rivera, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Network Platforms Group, during a media event in Palo Alto, California.
Previous reports indicated that Apple will not release a 5G iPhone until 2020, and this announcement from Intel aligns with them. For the uninitiated, the Cupertino brand uses Intel modems in its iPhones.
According to Reuters, Apple has gotten in touch with Samsung and MediaTek to talk about using their 5G modems in its 2019 iPhone lineup. However, there's no word on whether a deal was inked or not.
To boil things down, Apple could release a 5G iPhone this year if it reached an agreement with Samsung or MediaTek, but if it's continuing plans with only Intel, then its first 5G-capable handset likely won't materialize until 2020, which would make them fall at least one year behind its rivals.
This delayed launch of a 5G iPhone could also be attributed to Apple's legal battle with Qualcomm, who refused to sell it chips for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. It's also worth mentioning that the latter already announced its second-generation 5G solution Snapdragon X55 recently.
The 5G Era
Competitors of the iPhone maker are already gearing up to launch their first 5G devices, one of which is Samsung, who already unveiled the Galaxy S10 5G.
Other manufacturers in the game include Huawei and its 5G foldable phone and OnePlus. Both of them are getting ready to take the wraps off their devices at the 2019 Mobile World Congress this February in Barcelona, Spain.