FTC wins its antitrust case against Qualcomm

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Qualcomm patents
Case could make 5G landscape more competitive.
Photo: Qualcomm

Qualcomm emerged victorious from its recent battle with Apple. But things look a whole lot less rosy for the company in its antitrust case with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Judge Lucy Koh this week filed her ruling in the FTC’s first round of litigation against Qualcomm. She concluded that Qualcomm has been engaging in anticompetitive business practices.

Early test shows the promise and perils of 5G

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5G
The first 5G devices are wicked fast, but not very practical yet.
Photo: Samsung

The first steps of the move from 4G LTE to 5G NR are underway. And tests with one of the first two handsets capable of connecting to Verizon’s version of this faster network show 5G offers amazing speeds but very, very limited range.

First 5G modem made by Apple won’t arrive until 2025

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This Intel modem will likely power the first 5G iPhone.
Intel pulled the plug on its 5G modems.
Photo: Intel

Apple’s custom-built smartphone modems likely won’t make their way into iPhones and iPads until 2025 at the earliest, according to a new report from The Information.

Intel’s strained relationship with Apple is on full display in the beefy report that reveals Apple had problems with Intel long before 5G modems became an issue. Back in early 2017, Intel struggled to supply Apple with an LTE modem destined for the 2018 iPhone lineup. Despite overhauling the modem four times, Intel nearly missed the deadline.

Antitrust regulator hasn’t decided whether to approve T-Mobile and Sprint merger

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t-mobile
Date for completing the deal has been pushed back three months.
Photo: T-Mobile

T-Mobile and Sprint have pushed back the date for completing their proposed controversial merger to July 29. The reason? Because the U.S. Justice Department’s Antitrust Division chief says that he has not yet decided whether or not to approve the deal.

Previously, the deal was supposed to be completed this week. If it takes place, it will combine the no. 3 and no. 4 wireless providers in the United States.

VP helping lead the charge for a 5G iPhone departs company

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5G iPhone
A veteran Apple VP who was a big proponent for a 5G iPhone is leaving.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Apple vice president in charge of sourcing 4G and 5G iPhone modems has left. The departure of Rubén Caballero comes as this part of Apple’s business is in transition, with Qualcomm once again available to provide these vital components.

It seems developing a 5G iPhone is going to continue to be more difficult than one might expect.

2019 iPhone will have Intel 4G modems inside

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intel
Intel will supposedly supply a vital component for the iPhone 11.
Photo: Thomas Hawk/Flickr

Details about the 2019 iPhone models are starting to trickle out. Intel CEO seems to have said today that his company will be supplying 4G modems for this device.

Bob Swan’s comment is deliberately oblique, but at least one expert has taken it as an indication that Apple isn’t ready to fully switch to Qualcomm modems in its iPhones.

iPad Pro unlikely to get 5G until 2021

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2018 iPad Pro
5G on the iPad Pro would be amazing
Photo: Apple

Apple is reportedly planning to lay the foundation for 5G on the iPad Pro by using Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) soft boards for the first time ever.

According to one of the most reliable Apple analysts in the game, the new LCP soft boards will allow for better wireless connectivity in the iPad Pro, but 5G modems probably won’t make it into the iPad Pro until 2021.

Huawei’s 5G modems could be a good backup option for Apple

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Huawei launched the Balong 5000 5G modem in January.
Huawei's 5G modems may be as good as Qualcomm's.
Photo: Huawei

Having concluded its battle with Qualcomm, Apple will use the company’s modems for its eagerly anticipated 5G iPhone.

However, it seemingly has a strong backup option in the form of Huawei’s own 5G chip. The Chinese smartphone maker has previously said that it would happily do business with Apple. Now an independent analysis of its 5G tech shows that they are on par with other top-tier options.