Intel puts new 5G modem on hold after Apple snub

Intel puts new 5G modem on hold after Apple snub


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Editor’s Note: The original source of this information has retracted it. While Apple has apparently decided to not use Sunny Peak chips, they do not included 5G support. This means Intel could still produce 5G modems for Apple.

Intel has reportedly halted development of its new 5G mobile modem after Apple decided not to place orders for future iPhones.

Intel had hoped to secure a partnership with Apple to supply “Sunny Peak” chips for its 2020 iPhone lineup, but according to internal communications and “people familiar with the matter,” Apple has decided to shop elsewhere.

Apple is pushing to become one of the first smartphone manufacturers to deploy ultra-fast 5G connectivity. It is said to be developing its own modem chips internally, but until those are ready, it will have to use third-party solutions.

Intel was one of the suppliers Apple was considering, according to recent reports. Its upcoming Sunny Peak chip was designed specifically with a future iPhone in mind, but after being snubbed by Apple, the company has halted its development.

Apple isn’t interested in Intel’s 5G chips

Israeli website CTech, which cites internal Intel communications and people familiar with the matter, reports that Apple has notified Intel it will not use Sunny Peak chips in future devices.

“In the communications reviewed, Intel executives described Apple as the ‘key mobile customer’ for the developed 5G mobile modem,” reads the report. “Intel expected Apple to be the ‘main volume driver’ for the product, they said.”

Now that Apple has dropped out, it seems Intel sees no future for its Sunny Peak chip.

Apple eyes faster connectivity options

The executives believe Apple’s decision not to use Intel chips was the result of “many factors,” including its interest in even faster connectivity options.

The introduction of a faster Wi-Fi standard dubbed WiGig (802.11ad), which Sunny Peak does not support, could interest Apple. Intel executives believe WiGig “brings new and unanticipated challenges.”

A potential Apple partnership with MediaTek may have also played a part in this decision.

Recent reports out of Asia claim Apple is considering MediaTek’s new Helio M70 5G chip for iPhone, and sources warned that Intel would be the company to lose out — not Qualcomm — if Apple does decide to place orders.