Following a two-year legal tussle over patents and royalties, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said Thursday the chipmaker’s dealings with Apple have greatly improved and phrased the relationship as one of two “good partners.”
Chipmaker Qualcomm said Wednesday it expects the smartphone industry to ship 30% fewer mobile phones in the second quarter as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but predicted the demand for 5G smartphones will accelerate from the second half of 2020 into the new year.
As a provider of modem chips to Apple, the predictions give further evidence that the Cupertino-based high-tech giant is on track to release it’s first 5G-ready iPhone lineup later this year simply based on Qualcomm’s estimates of product demand.
Qualcomm has announced its new Snapdragon X60 5G modem, its third-gen 5G chip which offers improvements over its Snapdragon X55 and X50 predecessors.
While there is no confirmation that this is the case, this could very well be the modem chip that is used in the forthcoming generation of 5G iPhones. Apple patched up its rocky relationship with Qualcomm last year over the company’s 5G technology.
Qualcomm’s 5G antenna design isn’t up to par with Apple’s design standards, reveals a new report that claims Apple is building its own antenna for this year’s 5G iPhones.
Fast Company claims Apple has decided to do the design work itself on the 5G antenna but it will still use Qualcomm’s 5G modem chip. If true, Apple would be adding an extra level of difficulty for churning out a reliable 5G iPhone during one of its most anticipated upgrade cycles in years.
Apple might be in the market to acquire the radio-frequency chip division from one of its biggest parts suppliers.
The Wall Street Journal reported today that Broadcom Inc is working with Credit Suisse to find a possible buyer of its RF wireless-chip unit in an effort to diversify its business and move more toward software. Although the names of companies potentially interested in the division haven’t been named, Apple observers are quickly pointing out that the iPhone-maker scooping it up makes the most sense.
Qualcomm’s president isn’t allowed to say when the 5G iPhone will be released, but Cristiano Amon got as close as he could today by stating that his company and Apple will release one “as fast as we can.”
The 5G modem in this much-anticipated handset will be made by Qualcomm.
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 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.
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.