Apple is launching three new iPhones in 2020, rumors suggest, and noted supply-chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities says all three smartphones will come with 5G connectivity.
Kuo previously released a report in June that said only two of the three new models would offer 5G connectivity. The reason for the change? Kuo says it’s due in part to Apple’s acquisition of Intel’s modem business. According to the analyst, that acquisition means Apple will now have more resources to dedicate to 5G models sooner than it might have had prior to the deal with Intel.
Beyond faster connectivity, the new iPhones are expected to be significantly redesigned and will include 6.7-inch, 5.4-inch, and 6.1-inch screen sizes, 9to5 Mac reports. The phones are also expected to have OLED displays. Kuo also thinks that we’ll start seeing a number of lower-priced Android devices toward the end of 2020 that will offer 5G connectivity, which will require Apple to offer 5G in its phones as well in order to stay competitive.
Kuo’s report somewhat conflicts with another analyst’s report earlier this week that Apple will launch a 5G modem by 2021.
That report originally came from a source “familiar with the matter” who spoke to Reuters. Previous reports had Apple launching its own 5G modem considerably later, in 2022 or 2025.
That 2020 goal mirrors what Intel’s plans were prior to its acquisition by Apple. Intel had previously said that it would be able to develop a 5G modem for use in phones by 2020, so it may be able to stay on that target even despite the acquisition.
Before the acquisition, Apple had also reportedly already found a supplier for 5G modems for its phones from Taiwan’s Global Unichip, a design house associated with TSMC. Apple also has a six-year licensing agreement with Qualcomm, which means it has another option when it comes to acquiring 5G chips.
Qualcomm has already successfully developed 5G modems, which Apple could potentially use in iPhones while Intel is still working to complete its alternative.
While Apple has used Qualcomm’s chips in its phones in the past, thanks to litigation between the two companies, all of the iPhones released in 2018 used Intel modems.
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