There might not be a 5G iPhone until 2021

But 2020 still looks fairly likely

There might not be a 5G iPhone until 2021
There might not be a 5G iPhone until 2021

While the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and the Moto Z3 (with the help of its 5G Moto Mod) are delivering 5G this year, most rumors suggest we won’t see a 5G iPhone until 2020, but now we’re hearing it might not even be ready until 2021.

That claim comes from a source “with knowledge of the situation” speaking to Fast Company. The source says that Intel has been missing deadlines for the development of its XMM 8160 5G modem, supposedly destined for the 2020 iPhone.

Missing those deadlines could mean Intel won’t be in a position to deliver the modem in the quantity Apple needs in time for the September 2020 launch of the iPhone 12, or whatever it ends up being called.

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Indeed, as a result of the delays Apple has supposedly lost confidence in Intel to deliver the chip, which could mean Apple will be stuck with 4G until 2021 – two years after some companies will have launched 5G phones.

There’s no certainty of this though. For one thing, Intel itself has replied to these claims in a statement provided to Fast Company, saying: “As we said in November 2018, Intel plans to support customer device launches in 2020 with its XMM 8160 5G multimode modem.”

So while Apple and the iPhone aren’t named, that certainly suggests Intel fully intends to meet its commitments.

On top of which, we don’t even know for sure that Intel is supplying the 5G modem for the iPhone, let alone that it’s the only company that will be doing so.


James Rogerson