Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon has stated that the company’s top priority in its relationship with Apple right now is to get a 5G iPhone launched on time.
The comments were made during the company’s Snapdragon Summit in Hawaii, where the chipmaker has announced a whole swathe of features and its next generation mobile processors.
Originally reported by PCMag, Amon stated that “Priority number one of this relationship with Apple is how to launch their phone as fast as we can. That’s the priority.”
This could be translated to suggest that it wants to ensure Apple has a 5G iPhone ready for its next generation of devices. Since it’s the usual time of year for an iPhone launch, that means it’ll probably be in September 2020.
While it’s been a big drive for Qualcomm, and while it seems the development was begun pretty late in the day – considering we’re less than a year away from launch – Amon doesn’t appear concerned.
He stated “we’re very happy with the progress we’re making, and I expect that they’re going to have a great device”.
It’s not the first time we’ve heard suggestions of a 5G iPhone being in the works. In fact, it was virtually a given as soon as 5G networks started lighting up various markets around the world.
It’s also not the first time Apple has seemed late to the party. Similar to when 4G phones first hit the market, the first wave of 5G devices were all pretty hefty devices. Most of them noticeably bigger than even the typical ‘Plus’ or ‘Pro’ sized smartphones.
What’s interesting is that Apple is working with Qualcomm to get it done.
Its relationship with the chip manufacturer has been a little strained in recent years. It was only a few months ago the two companies agreed to settle on a long standing lawsuit surrounding chip technology license fees.
Then of course – a lot more recently – it was confirmed that Apple has purchased Intel’s mobile modem division.
It cost the company a reported $1 billion, suggesting this is more than just a patent grab. At the same time, there’s a sense that this Intel deal is more of a long play.
In the short term then, Apple needs Qualcomm to produce its 5G modems – along with a couple of other minor chips – until it can use Intel’s modem knowledge to produce its own in-house 5G hardware.
Despite the tension and legal battles, then, Apple and Qualcomm still have a multi-year deal in place, which gives the iPhone maker the time it needs to work on its own 5G modems.
In other words: it might be a couple of years before we see an Intel-based 5G modem in an iPhone, but we should expect a 5G iPhone within the next year.