IPhone 5G in 2020, but only thanks to Huawei

Apple is preparing to work on the iPhone 5G, which should come out not before 2020. Assuming that Huawei decides to sell its modem to the U.S. company

It's easy to say 5G: the mobile connection of the future has not yet arrived, but it is already at the center of political and industrial negotiations that make your wrists shake. On the table is what could be the biggest technological revolution since the invention of the smartphone. And smartphones will be the first devices to integrate a 5G modem.

Such as iPhones that, according to the latest rumors, will be compatible with 5G starting next year, but only thanks to an agreement between Apple and Huawei. This is reported by the online newspaper Engadget, which has learned of an ongoing negotiation between the two companies (not confirmed by either of the two) that if it were to go well would bring the Chinese manufacturer to sell Apple its Balong 5000 chips. That is, the new processors built at 7 nm by Huawei to enable their smartphones compatibility, in a single chip, with both the old 2G, 3G and 4G networks and the new 5G. Until now, Huawei has refused to sell its chips to third party companies and Apple would be an exception justified only by the fact that the Balong chips sold to Apple would be really many and that Apple is not a direct competitor of Huawei in the Android market.

Who will provide the 5G modem to Apple?

To strengthen this hypothesis of collaboration between Apple and Huawei there are several clues. The first is that Intel's XMM 8160 5G modem, despite the latter's official denials, according to Apple will not hit the market by 2020. The second is the fact that Apple will not be able to choose the Snapdragon X50 chip from Qualcomm, a company with which the Apple is in litigation for an alleged patent infringement. This leaves Huawei, which, however, until now had not been taken into account for its policy of not selling to third parties. If, however, it were true that Huawei is willing to make an exception, then Apple's choice would be more than credible. Provided that the Trump Administration, for months engaged in a technological and diplomatic dispute with China also on 5G, does not put a spoke in the wheels.

The Huawei Balong 5000 modem

To be fair, then, there would also be very good technical reasons to convince Apple to use the Balong 5000 chip from Huawei. Unlike the Snapdragon X50, in fact, the Balong is able to handle "multimode", i.e. also connections in the old standards, with a single chip. With the X50, in practice, it is necessary to mount two modems: one for 2G, 3G and 4G and the other only for 5G. With the Balong (and also with the Intel XMM 8160 to be honest) only one modem is needed to have all connections and this has a positive impact on the total costs of top of the line smartphones.