2020 iPhones said to feature the most advanced 5G chips, made by Qualcomm

All three iPhone models that Apple is planning to release in 2020 will boast the world’s “most advanced” 5G chips available, Japanese news service Nikkei reported Wednesday.

Nikkei Asian Review has the story:

All three of the new iPhones will carry the most advanced 5G modem chip, known as X55 that is designed by US mobile chip developer Qualcomm, four people familiar with the plan told Nikkei. The chip, which enables much faster downloads, faces such an increase in demand that there could be supply constraints, one person added.

Nikkei said in April that Apple had looked to Intel to manufacture the 5G chip for the iPhone line. Unfortunately, the chip maker jeopardized Apple’s timeline with a bunch of technical issues and setbacks that in turn prompted the Qualcomm settlement.

While the Cupertino company is currently lagging behind Samsung, Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi and other vendors in releasing a 5G phone, it’s reportedly set lofty sales goals for next year’s iPhone launch as it plans to ship approximately 80 million new iPhones with 5G capability.

By comparison, Apple typically ships 75-80 million of new iPhones each year.

“It will be the first time Apple introduces 5G iPhones,” an anonymous source told Nikkei. “There will be three of them and the company has set an aggressive sales target,” the source added.

5G technology isn’t just about faster data downloads.

In addition to a significant speed upgrade, 5G offers much lower network latency which means devices can connect to a 5G network and start downloading data almost immediately. 5G networks are expected to play especially crucial role in augmented reality headsets, remote surgery, driverless cars and other advanced applications of artificial intelligence.

Apple’s adoption of fifth-generation wireless networks is likely to push global carriers to roll out 5G telecoms infrastructure faster, especially outside China. According to Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute, the company will produce an estimated 206 million new iPhones in 2020, or eighteen percent of all new smartphone sales.

“The infrastructure is very costly,” said Eddie Han, senior industry analyst at Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute. “Apple’s move to introduce all three 5G iPhones will increase carriers’ confidence to invest.”

The upgrades iPhones will also feature “leading-edge screens” (read: edge-to-edge OLED panels) and run Apple’s in-house designed system-on-a-chip, dubbed “A14” (current devices are powered by the Apple A13 Bionic processors) that will be manufactured using TSMC’s cutting-edge 5-nanometer process technology. At the moment, only Apple and Huawei are said to be planning to use this chip production technology next year.

At least two of the three new phones will use OLED displays. The report reiterates previous rumors that some of the smartphone models slated to ship next year will take advantage of a new 3D sensing rear-camera that can sense the environment and detect objects.