Apple CEO Tim Cook clearly impressed Donald Trump yesterday during their tour of the Mac Pro factory; the president suggested that Apple be involved in rolling out 5G access across the US.
And he cited Cook as a big reason why.
Trump took to twitter early this morning to say:
During my visit yesterday to Austin, Texas, for the startup of the new Mac Pro, & the discussion of a new one $billion campus, also in Texas, I asked Tim Cook to see if he could get Apple involved in building 5G in the U.S. They have it all – Money, Technology, Vision & Cook!l
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2019
But Apple isn’t a 5G infrastructure company
The president’s suggestion probably caught Tim Cook off guard. While Apple is almost certainly hard at work on a 5G iPhone, the company doesn’t make 5G infrastructure.
The market for cellular base stations, antenna arrays and other 5G equipment is dominated by Ericsson, Nokia, and Huawei.
Perhaps Trump’s suggestion that Apple get involves stems from the fact that none of those three are US companies. The president is a big booster of “Made in America” products, but for the most part 5G hardware doesn’t qualify.
But Apple might not the best option. It doesn’t even have the expertise in-house to design the modems next year’s iPhone will need to connect to these advanced networks — it’s buying them from Qualcomm.