According to to a latest report, Apple’s first 5G iPhone said to hit the market in 2020. The company is planning on using Intel’s 8161 5G modem chip in its 2020 phones. Intel will be the sole provider of iPhone modems. Intel is also said to be working on 8060 modems which will be used for prototyping and testing the 5G iPhone.
The 8161 will be fabricated using Intel’s 10-nanometer process, which increases transistor density for more speed and efficiency. According to the report, Apple is said to be disappointed with Intel, and the reason relates to the challenge of solving heat dissipation issues caused by the 8060 modem chip. Verizon and AT&T in the U.S. will initially rely on the millimeter-wave spectrum to connect the first 5G phones. But millimeter-wave signal requires some heavy lifting from the modem chips.
This causes the normal levels of thermal energy inside the phone, and the heat can be felt outside the phone and also affects the battery life. However, this problem doesn’t come an excuse for Apple to re-open its relations with Qualcomm about supplying 5G modems. Rumors also hinted that Apple had talks with MediaTek about potentially supplying the chips. But that would be a Plan B, and Intel has time on its side. It has a year to a year and a half to solve the problems with its chip.
The first batch of 5G handsets will debut at the Mobile World Congress show next February. Android phones from such manufacturers as OPPO, Huawei, and Xiaomi will be among them 5G modem chips made by Qualcomm.