First there have been rumors of Apple not having a 5G-capable handset until 2021, however then just 10 days later, there have been whispers of a 5G iPhone arriving in 2020 after all, with the latter becoming possible because of Apple finally settling its dispute with chipmaker Qualcomm.
The recent report from renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, although, means that Apple will be embracing the new mobile transmission technology in a big way, with all three of its 2020 iPhone models set to be 5G prepared. Ming-Chi Kuo had previously predicted that only the premium (and costlier) 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch iPhones would support 5G.
Ming-Chi Kuo’s change of heart comes after Apple penned the United States $1 billion deal to acquire Intel’s modem business, which means the Cupertino tech big “has more resources for creating the 5G iPhone”.
Apple’s acquisition of Intel’s modem enterprise means the iPhone maker will be capable of a move away from its dependency on Qualcomm modems and develop its own. However, that may take time, and it’s probably Apple will make use of its six-year contract with Qualcomm to get smartphone modems for the 2020 iPhones. Apple-made modems aren’t anticipated to be ready until 2021.
Kuo predicts that by 2020, many smartphone buyers will assume that 5G handsets are the standard. So iPhones, that are usually more expensive than Android alternatives will have to be 5G-capable to “win more subsidies from mobile operators and consumers’ buy intention.”
Kuo further speculated that the three 2020 iPhone handsets would support both mmWave 5G (as used within the US) and the sub-6GHz spectrum version of 5G (discovered elsewhere), however, that doing so means the handsets can be costly. It is as yet unclear whether Apple will look into producing 5G iPhones supporting just the sub-6GHz spectrum for the Chinese market, which might help to lower costs.