There might not be a 5G iPhone anytime soon. In theory, there can be. Qualcomm has developed a 5G platform, but Apple will most definitely not use it since it's at war with the chipmaker over a number of issues.
Which is why the Cupertino company is relying on Intel for its future 5G modems, but Intel isn't doing so well on that front at the moment. So, as other manufacturers quickly adapt to 5G innovation, Apple is left out of the running when it comes to next-generation mobile connectivity.
Huawei Willing To Sell Its 5G Modems To Apple
For years, Huawei has been developing its own processors and modems, and these appear on its proprietary devices. However, Huawei has also refused to sell them to third parties, especially competitors. But now, it's changing its stance.
As Engadget reports, citing a source with knowledge of the situation, Huawei is now "open" to selling its 5G Balong 5000 chipsets — but only to Apple. As the Cupertino company struggles to move from the older LTE standard to new 5G chips — it's been reported Intel is having problems, but the chipmaker has rebuffed such claims — Huawei offers some hope.
Since Apple has openly opted not to use Qualcomm's, Samsung's, or MediaTek's 5G chips, its only options are to wait for Intel or take up Huawei's offer.
Why This Plan Is Impossible
To call Huawei a potential partner for Apple is probably one of the most controversial statements in the tech world. The Chinese company has been under scrutiny for years, and has spent 2018 mostly battling charges that its 5G products were insecure, and that it was willing to act as an agent of the Chinese government. Any deal involving Huawei's parts would subject Apple to severe criticism, especially regarding security, which is something Apple has been taking care to uphold for years.
It's an unusual, almost impossible plan. Apple will surely balk considering the many, potentially reputation-breaking implications of agreeing to Huawei's offer. Whether or not Apple bites, it's clear Huawei is seeking for potential 5G customers. As VentureBeat notes, the Chinese company might be taking an opportunity to squeeze between Qualcomm and MediaTek at a time when Samsung appears to be focused solely on self-supplying its 5G needs.