Apple is widely expected to debut its first iPhone 5Gs this fall, powered by Qualcomm's modem X55 – thanks to Apple's stunning deal with Qualcomm last year that saw the two companies continue their business. But a new report from Quick Company shows that Apple is trying to standardize its dependence on Qualcomm, with the iPhone maker exploring the point of its own 5G antenna instead of relying on existing Qualcomm hardware.
The issue is obviously the size of Qualcomm's QTM525 antenna, especially for access to the quicker 5G mmWave version, which a Quick Company source claims is too huge for the slim profile of Apple's next iPhones. As a result, Apple is said to be developing its own, internal antenna system that will best fit the point of the intended iPhone. Antennas for mmWave technology are particularly vital given the relatively low bandwidth of ultra-quick wireless technology, while 5G phones generally require multiple mmWave antennas to ensure excellent connectivity.
It has not been finalized that Apple will really use its own 5G antenna for its iPhones in 2020. The company is apparently considering two plans: a thinner one using Apple-made antennas, and a thicker one featuring Qualcomm.
Apple's development of its own 5G antenna system makes a lot of sense, as Qualcomm's reliance on the company is likely to be temporary. Apple had only settled its ongoing lawsuit with Qualcomm because its then-partner Intel was unable to offer a 5G chip for Apple at the time it wanted – according to a Quick Company source, Apple still feels that In its dealings with Qualcomm.
Apple will continue to buy the entire Intel 5G modem business from it. This allowed Apple to take over the bases Intel had already made and continue to rely on it for fully modified internal modems that could be designed from the ground up for future iPhones, iPads, and other devices.
It may be some time before the modem team can produce a product on Qualcomm itself, but it's nearly certainly on the horizon for Apple – and having its own custom 5G antennas to go with these end brands makes sense. .