Intel Allegedly Loses Contract For Manufacturing 5G iPhone Modems In 2020
Intel is having a pretty bad time of it right now after Apple informed the chipmaker that it would not be using its 5G mobile modem in its 2020 iPhones.
This comes via Israeli website CTech by Calcalist, which apparently saw internal communications from Intel while also speaking with those infamous “people familiar with the matter.”
The report says that the communications it has seen described Apple as a “key mobile customer” as well as the “main volume driver” for the 5G modem. That alone should ring alarm bells for Intel, leading to doubts about the chip’s sustainability given the loss of such a huge contract.
Apple has notified Intel it will not use a mobile modem developed by the chipmaker in its next-generation mobile device, Intel executives said in the communications. Further development of the modem component internally called “Sunny Peak” is halted and Intel’s team working on the product will be redirected to other efforts, the executives said.
Recent reports by analysts have suggested that Apple could move its modem manufacturing needs to MediaTek for future iPhones, meaning this latest Intel news does indeed make sense. At the time there was no timeline available for when that switch-over would take place but given this latest report, it is clear that 2019’s iPhones are set to be the last using Intel modems. As is to be expected, Intel is not commenting on the news.
Apple only started using Intel for its modems a couple of years ago after using Qualcomm parts for a number of years. Currently, both Qualcomm and Intel chips are in use across the iPhone line although with the former and Apple currently in the middle of a legal dispute, it is debatable as to how long they will continue to work together.