It seems Intel will not be the provider of 5G modems for Apple’s next generation of mobile devices in 2020. According to a recent report by Calcalist, further development of the modem component internally named “Sunny Peak” has been officially ceased. Calcalist reported this after reviewing internal company communications and getting in touch with people who are familiar with the matter.
According to the communications reviewed by Calcalist, Intel has described Apple as the “key mobile customer” for the newly developed 5G mobile modem. In fact, it appears Intel was expecting Apple to be the “main volume driver” for the component.
Intel refused to comment on the matter when it was approached by Calcalist, stating the company does not comment on matters regarding its customers. Some Intel executives proposed that Apple’s sudden rejection of the 5G modem component was the result of “many factors”. Apple, on the other hand, has yet to respond to Calcalist’s request for comment.
Codenamed “Sunny Peak”, the chip is a 5G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth component designed by Intel for use on Apple’s future devices in 2020. According to unconfirmed speculations by Intel executives, Apple is going to great lengths to include 5G connectivity in its mobile devices. Apparently, the introduction of WiGig (802.11ad), a new high-speed Wi-Fi standard, “into any mobile product brings new and unanticipated challenges.”
Though Calcalist’s report claims that Apple has already rejected the 5G component from Intel, popular industry analysts like Patrick Moorhead and Ryan Shrout are claiming they’ve heard otherwise from Intel through Twitter:
Intel spokesperson just told me its 5G customer engagements and roadmap have not changed for 2018 through 2020 and remain committed to its 5G plans and projects. The first part is key. https://t.co/2R9CIE1tkO — Patrick Moorhead (@PatrickMoorhead) 5 July 2018
Been doing some investigating and it seems the reports about Intel dropping 5G modem development are incorrect. Intel told me "5G customer engagements and roadmap have not changed for 2018 through 2020. We remain committed to our 5G plans and projects." — Ryan Shrout (@ryanshrout) 5 July 2018
Considering Calcalist’s report and tweets from Moorhead and Shrout, it’s hard to say if Apple has really spurned the 5G modem from Intel. One thing’s for sure: it sounds very characteristic of Apple to walk away from a deal mid-way like that.