Huawei ‘Open’ to the Idea of Selling 5G Modems to Apple

BY Evan Selleck

Published 8 Apr 2019

While some analysts don’t necessarily subscribe to the idea, the expectation is that Apple is planning on launching a 5G iPhone in 2020 with an Intel modem inside.

However, the relationship between Apple and Intel may be strained a bit, and that could push Apple’s plans a bit. So if Apple does want to launch its first 5G iPhone next year, it may have to work with other companies. One analyst has speculated that Qualcomm could be tapped to fill future orders, but for that to happen the two companies would need to work things out.

But Apple may have another supplier waiting for a call. Engadget reports on Monday that Huawei is “open” to the idea of selling 5G modems to Apple — but only Apple. The company has developed a 5G Balong 5000 chip, which could work in future iPhones, but up to this point the company has denied supplying the chip to other companies in the smartphone market.

Huawei is a competitor to Apple, especially in international markets, and the idea the company is only willing to supply 5G chips to Apple is an interesting one. But the company isn’t particularly known for its chip sales, either, so one has to wonder if the company could even realistically supply enough 5G modems for Apple’s iPhone lineup next year.

Apple is said to be working on its own cellular modems for future iPhones as well, but that is said to be still in the early stages of development. Apple’s own modems might not be ready to go until 2021.

Our Take

One can’t imagine that Huawei is going to be on the top of the list of companies to call when Apple starts going down the 5G road. Still, if Apple can’t get Qualcomm to supply them, and Intel falls through, maybe Huawei will be the only option left standing. Unless Apple wants to reach out to Samsung, of course.

[Via Engadget]