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Apple may have a new prospect for 5G modems: Huawei

Huawei has said it will sell 5G modems to Apple. (Source:
Huawei has said it will sell 5G modems to Apple. (Source:
Apple may be obliged to delay its adoption of 5G until 2020 at the earliest. This is due to its ongoing feud with Qualcomm, who, as it is claimed, will not sell the necessary hardware to the Cupertino company. More recently, Huawei has said it may sell its own modems to Apple.

According to the latest industry speculation, Apple will not include 5G in its new iPhones until 2020 - at the earliest. It is not unlike this company to lag behind others in smartphone trends. However, this possible example is said to be less voluntary than most. The Cupertino firm reportedly faces a next-gen modem drought, as its most obvious supplier, Qualcomm, is unwilling to work with it at present.

A few other companies make the necessary hardware to get 5G on phones, however. One is Huawei, who unveiled its own Balong 5000 modem last year. The OEM had indicated that this module was for its own in-house use. However, a new Engadget report states that it has made a partial about-face on this matter, and has stated that it would consider selling the components to Apple.

However, this deal may not go smoothly, if indeed it goes at all. As a US company, Apple could be in line for censure of some kind for working with Huawei - an entity currently suspected of espionage and other nefarious activity by the current national administration - in such a capacity. Indeed, some prominent academic institutions have recently terminated partnerships with the company for the same reason.

Apple could get around this by selling any Balong 5000-powered devicees in China only. As for new iPhones to be sold elsewhere on Earth, their main hope for timely 5G is Intel, who currently supplies their maker with all its modems. However, the OEM is now believed to have "lost confidence" in the chip-maker after it had missed some important deadlines.

Timothy Arcuri, a market analyst, has stated that Intel may not be able to supply Apple with a modem that would satisfy its requirements until after 2020. These new complications in this ongoing saga appear to indicate that iPhones are no nearer to beating Android to 5G than it was about a month ago.


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Deirdre O Donnell, 2019-04- 9 (Update: 2019-04- 9)