Qualcomm may have just hinted that 5G iPhones are coming in 2020

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Apple reportedly placing big orders for next year's 5G iPhone
Coming soon to a pocket near you. Hopefully.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf predicts 175 million to 225 million 5G handsets will be sold in 2020. The company is also expecting new flagship devices with its 5G chips to be made available for sale next fall.

While that’s far from a guarantee, the comments provide more (possible) clues that 2020 could be when we get the first 5G iPhones.

Apple aims to deploy its own 5G modem in iPhones by 2022

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Apple reportedly placing big orders for next year's 5G iPhone
Source says that this is an extremely aggressive timeline.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple reportedly plans to deploy its own 5G modems in iPhones by 2022. This “very aggressive” timeline will require Apple to carry out development, testing and certification.

Until then, Apple will use 5G modems developed by Qualcomm. After years of legal battling, the two companies put aside their differences earlier this year. Apple will likely ship its first 5G iPhone next year.

iPhone 11 uses Intel’s last 4G modem

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intel
The days when iPhones use Intel modems are almost over, but not yet.
Photo: Thomas Hawk/Flickr

The end of the Apple’s war with Qualcomm didn’t come soon enough for this chip maker to get its 4G modems into the 2019 iPhone models. All three of Apple’s new handsets use a modem designed before Intel got out of this business.

Which possibly means this phone isn’t as fast as it could be.

iPhone displays could offer built-in Touch ID by 2020

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Touch ID
But don't worry — Face ID isn't going anywhere.
Photo: Apple

Apple really is working to integrate Touch ID into future iPhone displays, according to a new report.

The company’s in-screen fingerprint-scanning technology could debut as early as 2020. It is expected work alongside Face ID on flagship handsets, giving users a choice between unlock options.

2020 iPhones may pack 3D laser camera

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The camera bump is about to get bumpier in the iPhone XI.
The camera bump is about to get bumpier in the iPhone XI.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

The iPhone’s augmented reality capabilities are about to ramp up to an all-new level, thanks to camera sensors that can tell how far away objects are.

TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors in a new research note that Apple is readying cameras with time-of-flight sensors. Adding the new ToF sensors should give the iPhone better computer vision. They could help take better pics, too.

Apple might drop $1 billion on Intel’s modem biz

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This Intel modem will likely power the first 5G iPhone.
One of Intel's first 5G modems.
Photo: Intel

Apple could soon become the new owner of Intel’s giant trove of modem-related patents according to a new report on the two sides’ negotiation.

Intel decided to get out of the 5G modem game earlier this year after Apple struck a deal to use Qualcomm’s modems for the next couple of years. It appears that Intel’s loss could be a big win for Apple’s own efforts to become less dependent on third-parties for iPhone chips.

Qualcomm criticized for using internal Apple documents in court

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Anti-robocall bill is one step closer to being passed into law
FTC argues that Qualcomm should have introduced documents earlier.
Photo: Pexels

The legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm may be settled. But that hasn’t stopped Qualcomm from bringing up Apple’s name in court.

As part of a hearing to stop the enforcement of an antitrust ruling, Qualcomm used internal Apple documents as evidence. And the U.S. Federal Trade Commission wasn’t too happy about it.