Apple May Be Delayed In Producing First 5G iPhone: Analyst Says

iPhone X - Notch
iPhone X - Notch (Photo: William Hook/Instagram)

Apple fans that are eagerly waiting for a 5G iPhone might have to wait a little longer. Sources close to the matter are now saying that the Cupertino-based tech firm will most likely to postpone their earlier promise to deliver a 5G device by 2020. This is because Apple is "running out of options" on who will provide them with 5G modems.

As reported by UBS analyst Timothy Arcuri through 9to5 Mac, Apple is seemingly confused in choosing the right vendor to produce their 5G modems. As such, the company will most likely to overshoot its target to release a 5G iPhone next year. Phone Arena also believes that Apple would have to choose between "five separate" modem suppliers. These will include, among others, Intel and Qualcomm. MediaTek and Samsung are also being considered by 9to5 Mac.

Apple is known to be rather picky when it comes to the specifics of their iPhones. This alone gives them a distinct arena and a step away from Android devices. As mentioned, Intel is the first name that will come across the mind of Apple. The latter is responsible for supplying the modems used in older models of the iPhones. Intel is also present inside the iPhone XS and XR. However, Intel's 5G exploits aren't that bright. UBS also gave Intel a hazy look when they said that they will release 5G chipsets by the end of 2020.

Qualcomm is another story. It's been clear that the company and Apple are not in good terms considering the tight legal issues between them. Although several iPhones used Qualcomm in the past, Apple has since moved on and considered Intel in the process. The former is also "refusing" to supply Apple with its products as long as they have something to settle in court.

Things are rocky when it comes to MediaTek and Samsung. UBS is claiming that MediaTek is not at par with what Apple is looking for their chips as far as "performance" is concerned. Samsung meanwhile is the last name on Apple's list because they really don't want to shake hands with the South Korean for this kind of component. UBS sees this as the only weak point in the argument considering that Apple uses many of Samsung's hardware, including the OLED screen found in the iPhone X.

Now that Apple is torn over the decision on who will supply them with 5G chips, they will have to settle to extend its LTE line for another year. 2021 is Apple's target year to out a 5GiPhone, but even that can and will be a "technical hurdle" if UBS is to say something. The only saving grace Apple is looking at will be Intel going full speed and go triple time to produce market-ready 5G modems. 

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