Intel gives up on 5G modems for smartphones, will focus on other devices

Intel has killed off any plans it had for producing 5G mobile modems, as detailed in a press release sent out on Tuesday, April 16. Instead of looking further into making 5G modems, Intel will instead be focusing its efforts on other avenues in the 5G space, like infrastructure and modems for other devices, including laptops, PCs, connected smart devices, and similar non-smartphone devices.

Despite professing excitement in the “cloudification” of networks allowed by 5G, Intel CEO Bob Swan blames the lack of a “clear path to profitability and positive returns” within the smartphone modem market as the reason for Intel’s sudden exit. “5G continues to be a strategic priority across Intel, and our team has developed a valuable portfolio of wireless products and intellectual property,” Swan continues. “We are assessing our options to realize the value we have created, including the opportunities in a wide variety of data-centric platforms and devices in a 5G world.”

However, it’s worth pointing out that other factors may have swayed Intel’s hand. Namely, the settlement in the long-running legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm. The same day saw the two companies announce the end of their legendary battle with a six-year settlement that will see Apple rely on Qualcomm for more of its hardware. Most notably, this will mean Apple has more options where 5G is concerned.

Intel had previously supplied the modems for the entire range of 2018 iPhones, and it was rumored Intel’s modems would power 5G connectivity in 2020’s iPhones. However, Intel’s delay on 5G modems means Apple would be far behind in 5G compared to competitors, putting the company at a severe disadvantage. Having the ability to instead buy 5G modems from Qualcomm, who has already created a working 5G modem, would be a large boost for Apple. Not that Apple should overly worry about 5G connectivity though — a survey from the start of 2019 showed that most Americans thought Apple was leading the way in 5G, despite not having any 5G-capable hardware.

Viewed in this light, it could be assumed Intel is folding at the sight of Qualcomm’s significantly stronger hand. However, it’s worth pointing out that while Qualcomm now holds something of a monopoly in the U.S., it’s far from the only player in the game, with Mediatek and Huawei producing their own modems. The practical birth of 5G also only just happened, with Verizon recently turning on its 5G network in a handful of U.S. cities, so it all remains an open field.

Mobile

5G your old phone: HTC’s 5G Hub is now available for pre-order from Sprint

HTC almost made a phone. The HTC 5G Hub runs Android 9 Pie, has a Qualcomm 855 processor with the X50 modem, 4GB of RAM, and an HD touchscreen -- but it's a hot spot designed to connect to 5G networks.
Mobile

LG's 5G-capable V50 ThinQ smartphone is now available for pre-order

LG has a habit of releasing too many phones. Following on the heels of the V40 ThinQ, the company has now unveiled the LG V50 ThinQ. There's 5G support, as well as an accessory that turns it into a foldable phone.
Mobile

Verizon’s 5G is blazing fast on the Galaxy S10 5G, if you’re on the right block

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is finally here, and we went to Chicago to test its 5G connectivity capabilities on Verizon's 5G network. Like with the Moto Z3 and Moto Mod, service is still limited, but it's super fast.
Android

Get ready for 5G speed: The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G has landed in the U.S.

Samsung announced a whopping four new Galaxy S10 devices, from the low-cost S10e to the triple-camera S10 and S10 Plus. But it's the Galaxy S10 5G that steals the show, as it's the first 5G-ready smartphone to hit the market.
Gaming

The best iOS games you can play offline on your iPhone and iPad

Even though we're always glued to our phones, we don't always have access to Wi-Fi or have steady service. Whether you're on a flight, riding the bus, or sitting in a waiting room, you can always play these excellent iOS games.
Mobile

Google’s new $999 augmented reality smartglasses are ready for business

Google unveiled Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2, a new version of its business-focused augmented reality wearable. The company's smartglasses ship with a faster processor, an updated camera, and safety frames from Smith Optics.
Mobile

The Commerce Department implements a temporary reprieve to Huawei

Google has severed most of its partnerships with Huawei, after its addition to the "Entity List" of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Future Huawei devices will lose access to the Google Play Store, Chrome, and Android updates.
Deals

Need a new tablet? Here are the best iPad deals for May 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for May 2018.
Mobile

Some Pixel 3a owners say their new phone is randomly shutting down

Some owners of Google's new Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL smartphones are complaining that their devices are randomly shutting down. The mid-range handsets hit the market just two weeks ago.
Mobile

Here's our first look at the Galaxy Note 10's centered selfie camera

The Samsung Galaxy S10 range was only just revealed, but Samsung is already working on the next big release. Not much is known about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 just yet, but we do have a few details.
Deals

Best Memorial Day sales 2019: Walmart, Dell, and Home Depot start early

If you're looking to save big on some shiny new stuff for Memorial Day 2019, we've gathered everything you need to know into one place. Find out where to save the most money before the summer hits its stride.
Mobile

OnePlus 7 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: Which Android powerhouse is for you?

If you're after a real powerhouse of a smartphone, then you've probably considered the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. But you could save yourself some cash by opting for the OnePlus 7 Pro. Find out what sets these phones apart in our comparison.
Photography

Adobe Premiere Rush now allows Android users to edit video without the laptop

After launching on desktop and iOS, Adobe Premiere Rush, a streamlined video editor, is now available on Android. Premiere Rush is designed for social media projects and non-professional editors.
Mobile

The Honor 20 Pro is here with four camera lenses and a hole-punch screen

Honor has launched the Honor 20 Pro and the Honor 20 at an event taking place in London. The new smartphone is surprisingly compact, with an impressive four-lens camera for taking stunning shots, day or night.