Intel executives said Friday that their 5G modem chips will not appear on mobile phones until 2020, which increases the possibility that their biggest customer, Apple, will be behind their rivals in delivering a device for more than a year. to use the fastest networks.
Sandra Rivera, who oversees Intel’s chip business, said at a media event in Palo Alto, Calif., That the 5G sample modem chips will be sent to customers this year, but that Intel does not expect “products from consumption in the market “until 2020.
Intel has said its 5G modem chip will be available later this year, but never indicated when it believed the products would arrive for consumers. Rivera said that 5G non-consumer products, such as network equipment, will appear later this year.
It was not clear if Intel’s timing on the modem chips means that Apple will not have an iPhone with 5G capabilities in 2019. Bloomberg previously reported that Apple would not have an iPhone 5G ready until 2020.
Apple executives held talks with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and MediaTek Inc about the 5G modem chips for iPhones that will be launched this year, but the outcome of those talks is unknown.
Reuters reported on February 7 that Apple earlier this year moved its modern engineering efforts to the same division that produces its patented processor chips.
Apple did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
While Apple remains Intel’s only major modem chip client today, Intel Chief Executive Bob Swan said the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chipmaker plans to look for other business lines, such as selling modems. to automobile manufacturers.
He also said that modems could appear on a variety of other devices, such as network equipment, along with Intel’s computer chips as 5G networks proliferate. But Intel executives declined to comment on whether Intel would combine its modem and processors on a single chip the way its rivals like San Diego-based Qualcomm have done.
Swan said Intel does not plan to generate revenue from patent licensing from its 5G technology as its competitor from Southern California does.
“Our model in relation to other players based in California is completely different,” Swan said. “Ours is not a model based on licenses.
“The royalty transfers that are charged against the cost of the entire device, is a model that, as you know, has caused a bit of friction in the market,” Swan continued, alluding to the legal battles of Qualcomm with Apple and others. telephone manufacturers by the San Diego. Patent practices of the firm Diego. “Friction for others is an opportunity for us.”