Apple is reprotedly working on two seperate designs as it ramps up preparations for the 5G iPhone later this year
The company is widely expected to use Qualcomm modems to offer fast wireless connectivity, but it is now being reported that Apple may not use Qualcomm’s QTM 525 millimeter-wave antenna as it does not fit into the slim design of the upcoming iPhones.
According to reports, Apple feels that the new iPhone's industrial design may not have enough space for the Qualcomm antenna, and is instead working on a couple of design variants right now, with one using both the X55 modem and Qualcomm's antenna, causing a slightly thicker build, alongside another thinner design that uses Apple's in-house antenna.
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Better design or better connectivity
Qualcomm’s modems currently power most flagship 5G phones available today, including the recently launched Samsung Galaxy S20 series.
Since these antennas are critical, as the range of ultra-fast wireless connectivity is very limited, Apple may end up using multiple mmWave antennas to ensure a seamless connection. However, the company has not had a great experience when it comes to making its own antenna, having previously faced a class action suit because of the poor network connectivity in the iPhone 4.
Making its own custom antenna makes sense for Apple, because not only it would allow the company to make slimmer phones as per its plan but it will also be saved from paying extra to Qualcomm in the form of royalties for using their technology.
Apple has also tried collaborating with Intel for 5G chip sets, however after it was unable to ensure timely delivery, the chip giant bowed out and later sold its entire modem business to Apple.
This acquisition has given Apple a lot of expertise, and ever since then, the company has invested a lot of resources in building its own 5G modem. These chip sets may not be fully ready as yet hence the company is still relying on Qualcomm for the time being.
While a 5G iPhone looks like a certainty this year, we will have to wait and see which design gets Tim Cook's approval.
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Via: Fast Company (opens in new tab)