Apple looks to Intel for 5G modems in future iPhones

Tensions between Apple and Qualcomm have been on the rise, which has in part caused Apple to look elsewhere for the iPhone’s upcoming 5G modem. Apple is aiming to include 5G in the iPhone by 2019-2020, which means they are getting close to choosing a manufacturer.

The news has made its way out by a detailed report in Fast Company that dives into Intel’s full court press to win Apple’s business. It’s reported that Intel has “multiple thousands” of employees working on their 5G modem.

Intel debuted their first 5G modem earlier this year at CES, and this week they announced progress on their design. They have successfully been able to make a full end-to-end 5G phone call, which is an important step in the development.

The upcoming 5G iPhone will be capable of lightning fast connection speeds, even going past a gigabit per second. That could completely change the way we use mobile data.

It has been an ongoing battle for Apple’s business, with Qualcomm supplying the iPhone’s modems since 2011. Last year in the iPhone 7, Intel came on board providing modems for GSM devices, while Qualcomm provided them for the CDMA units. Qualcomm still does have a substantially more advanced 5G modem, but Apple engineers seem to be convinced that Intels offering may meet their needs, and their reliance on a feisty partner.