TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple could launch a 5G-ready iPhone in 2020. In an investment note obtained Macrumors, Kuo said the modems could be provided by Qualcomm and Samsung. Although the report does not offer too many details, Kuo believes the launch of 5G iPhone will be beneficial for Apple.
“Apple and Qualcomm’s end of patent dispute and entrance into a six-year licensing deal implies new 2H20 iPhone models will support 5G; Qualcomm and Samsung are potential 5G baseband chip suppliers,” Kuo wrote in a research note. Qualcomm is said to supply modems for sub-6GHz markets, while Qualcomm’s chips will focus on mmWave markets.
Kuo estimates that 195 to 200 million iPhones will ship in 2020, including 70 to 75 million 5G models to be released in the second half of next year. That’s an increase of 60 to 65 million iPhones Kuo expects Apple to ship next year.
Just last week, Apple and Qualcomm ended a two-year long patent dispute. In a joint statement, Apple and Qualcomm announced an “agreement to dismiss all litigation between the two companies worldwide.” The agreement includes an undisclosed payment from Apple to Qualcomm, a chip supply agreement, and a six-year licensing deal.
Previously, Intel was rumoured to supply 5G modems for the 2020 iPhone. But only a few hours after Apple-Qualcomm settlement was announced, Intel revealed it will quit building 5G modems for smartphones.
The 5G iPhone will be crucial for Apple in a lot of ways. With sales of iPhones down year over year, Apple needs a 5G iPhone to compete against its key rivals, including Samsung and Huawei. Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, has already started selling a 5G Galaxy S10 in South Korea.