Apple and Intel have been growing closer over the years thanks to the former’s now-sour relationship with Qualcomm. Things may be getting even cozier between the two as a new report claims that the pair is working together on a super-fast 5G iPhone.
Apple’s engineers are apparently collaborating with Intel’s to get the ball rolling for 5G. The Cupertino-based brand is seemingly looking to the chipset maker to provide all the 5G modems for a future iPhone. Sources told Fast Company that the end game was to place an Intel modem onto an integrated SoC which included the CPU and GPU.
This SoC is probably going to be co-designed by Apple and Intel. The latter supposedly considers providing the 5G modem for the iPhone a “must-win” and has employed an army in the multiple thousands to achieve this goal. It’s easy to see why, given how Qualcomm currently dominates the field.
Qualcomm is actually a bit further along than Intel when it comes to 5G technology and even offers more specialized carrier features, though these may not get adopted in the long run. Still, Apple is reportedly confident that Intel’s 5G modem will fit the requirements for a future iPhone.
A 5G iPhone would be able to support speeds of a gigabit per second and above. It’s a big step forward, with Apple recently gaining permission to test the network. Meanwhile, Intel announced its 5G modem at CES 2017 and recently revealed that it had successfully completed a full end-to-end call based on its early 5G silicon.
Intel’s 5G modem will get done within a few years, a timeline which closely matches Apple’s 5G iPhone plans in 2019 or 2020. In the interim, Qualcomm might get knocked out of iPhone and iPads altogether by 2018.