Intel claims that it canceled a line of smartphone 5G chips that had been slated for the 2020 launch. The announcement came on the same day Apple announced a broad range of Qualcomm agreements over patent issues.
Qualcomm has been dominant in the wireless chip business for smartphones. Apple is concerned about being too dependent on a single supplier. So in recent years, Apple has urged Intel to extend its wireless chip offerings and offer Intel a big part of its business for 4G chips on the iPhone.
After last year, as Apple's legal battle with Qualcomm was heated, Intel became Apple's only supplier for 4G wireless chips on the iPhone. Intel also works to develop 5G chips for Apple to use in iPhone's future versions. But recent reports indicate that Intel is "missing deadline" for the wireless chip scheduled to go to the 2020 iPhone model.
reported Fast Company earlier this month that "to deliver the large number of modems in time for a launch of the September 2020 iPhone, Intel had to deliver sample parts to Apple by early part of the summer this year, and then deliver a finished modem design in early 2020. "
If Intel failed to provide Apple with 5G chips in a timely manner, to place a Apple in an unpleasant position. IPhone competitors can offer 5G capabilities with Qualcomm chips, whereas Qualcomm may deny Apple access to 5G chips until the patent battle continues.
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However, it is unclear if Apple's agreement with Qualcomm is forced Intel to leave the 5G market or if the threatening Intel exit from the 5G market is forced Apple to reside in Qualcomm. Probably the reason is to run a little in the same direction.
Apple does not fight for Qualcomm, Intel may expect to provide chips for all Apple iPhones, providing enough size to justify Intel's huge investment in construction of technology. But now that Apple and Qualcomm are re-working together, Intel Qualcomm may expect to provide at least some of the 5G chips to the 2020 iPhone-and Apple has more action to negotiate better pricing .
"In the smartphone business modem has become clear that there is no clear path to profitability and positive return," said Intel CEO Bob Swan in the press release yesterday.
Intel claims it will make existing contracts for 4G chips and re-assess "opportunities for 4G and 5G modems on the PC, internet of device objects and other data-centric devices." The company continues to invest in 5G chips for network infrastructure.