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5G: Apple Is Considering Hiring Samsung And MediaTek To Supply 5G Modem For 2019 iPhones


Many tech companies have shown readiness to embrace the 5G technology. The annual tech convention that took place at Vegas, had in attendance a series of demos showcasing the potentials of the 5G internet speed.

With 5G, the processes of downloading songs, movies and streaming videos would be ten times faster than what 4G offers. With 3G, mobile users enjoyed internet speed; the 4G invasion allowed transport companies like Uber and Taxify (in Nigeria) to thrive. One can only imagine what’s in with the 5G technology. This would be a huge one from the tech world.

Apple Inc. is not left out in the tech upgrade. According to a testimony by an Apple executive, at a trial between Qualcomm and the US Federal Trade Commission, the tech firm has had talks with Samsung and MediaTex, along with its existing vendor, Intel Corp to supply them 5G modem chips for 2019 iPhones.

San Diego based Qualcomm had supplied Apple with modem chips between 2011 and 2016, until Apple decided to introduce Intel in the latter year. In 2018, however, Apple retained only Intel, kicking Qualcomm out of the business. In 2019, Apple is considering hiring MediaTek and its biggest rival in the smartphone Industry, Samsung to supply modem chips that enable phones connect to wireless network in the next generation of network-5G. This network is expected to roll out this year.

Apple and Qualcomm had been engaged in an epic battle. Apple sued the San Diego based company over the high charges in royalty for using its patent. Apple pays a percentage to Qualcomm as royalty for every product it sells for using its technology. Apple has sued the company in the US, the UK, and in China, yet iPhone is still selling in these countries, especially in China. A sales ban may hurt China’s smartphone industry, Apple says.

Between 2016 and 2017, Apple switched to Intel in some of its phones after cost negotiations did not go as planned, but retained Qualcomm chips in some others.  Their legal dispute in early 2017 affected the business relationship between the duo, leading to the exclusive use of Intel’s chips for the phones released later in the year. 

The entire concept of switching to Intel was to introduce a second supplier as they didn’t want Intel to be a sole supplier. “We wanted both Qualcomm and Intel in the mix”, Blevins, an Apple executive said. About considering the largest competitor whose products, Galaxy and Note devices compete against the iPhone, to be a major supplier, Blevins says “it’s not an ideal environment for Apple” and did not mention if a deal has been struck between the duo.   

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