APPLE WILL RELEASE two 5G iPhones in 2020, reckons trustworthy analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
This isn't the first time we've heard this rumour, but Apple's first 5G iPhone was originally slated to use an Intel radio chip. Since, however, Intel has canned its 5G modem biz after Apple and Qualcomm settled their differences.
In a research note seen by 9to5Mac, Kuo says that Apple's first-generation 5G iPhones - 5.4in and 6.7in OLED models - will heavily rely on Qualcomm when they arrive in 2020, though notes that Apple will use its own power amplifier and RF antenna designs.
"We believe that the content of Apple and Qualcomm's previous settlement includes Qualcomm's release of partly 5G baseband chip source code to Apple for Apple's development of own 5G PA/FEM," Kuo says.
The 5G compatibility in the 2020 iPhone would apparently support both leading standards; sub-6GHz and mmWave technology.
They might be more than a year away, but Kuo has some more details on the 2020 iPhones. Along with 5.4in and 6.7in models - which would suggest the XS is getting smaller and the XS Max bigger - Apple will release a "low-end" 6.1in OLED iPhone, ditching the LCD screen currently found on the iPhone XR.
Kuo notes that all new iPhones will support 5G starting in 2021, and believes that Apple will have its own 5G modem ready by 2022 or 2023, which should reduce its dependence on Qualcomm.
17/4/19: Apple is said to be plotting a 4.7in iPhone for 2020 that'll arrive as an upgraded iPhone 8.
So says a report at Economic Daily News, which citing sources from Taiwan-based Fubon Securities Investment Trust claims that Apple's revised iPhone 8 will make its debut in March 2020.
The pint-sized smartphone will reportedly feature the same 4.7in LCD display as the iPhone 8 but will feature souped-up internals including an A13 processor and 128GB of base storage. The device, which could arrive as the iPhone XE, will also retain a single-lens rear camera and a similar design to the iPhone 8, according to the report, complete with a home button and chunky bezels.
This is likely to keep the price of the device low, the EDN suggesting it'll feature an "aggressive" price tag of around $649 (around £500).
4/4/19: Apple will reportedly release three OLED iPhones in 2020 that will feature different screen sizes to its current crop of handsets.
Citing sources in Taiwan's supply chain, Digitimes claims that Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup will comprise of 5.42in, 6.06in and 6.67in models; currently, the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max sport 5.8in, 6.1in and 6.5in screens, respectively.
Further, backing up previous rumours, the report claims that all of next year's iPhones will adopt OLED screen technology, with Apple ridding of the LCD display on its cheapest model.
It notes that Samsung will remain Apple's main OLED panel supplier for Apple next year, adding that the smallest model coming in 2020 will include Samsung or LG touchscreen tech that will allow Apple to make the display thinner than on previous handsets.
"The 5.42in model to be released in 2020 may come with either Samsung Display's Y-Octa or LG Display's TOE touch technology, indicated the sources, noting that both touch solutions promise to trim down the display cost," Digitimes reports.
"Y-Octa is an advanced flexible AMOLED display technology that removes the film substrate and allows the touch circuit to be directly patterned on the film's encapsulation layer, making the display thinner, indicated the sources."
22/2/19: Apple's 2020 iPhones will reportedly ship with a 5-nanometer (5nm) chip manufactured by TSMC.
Digitimes, just weeks after claiming that TSMC will be the sole supplier of 7nm chips for this year's iPhones, reports that the chipmaker "is expected to secure the first 5nm chip orders from Apple for the 2020 iPhones".
Further details are scant, but it looks like Apple could be one of the first to use the 5nm chip, which looks set to advanced AR and AI applications and offer a significant boost to battery life.
23/1/19: Apple will ditch the LCD-equipped iPhone XR next year in favour of a fully OLED lineup, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The shift to OLED will enable "more flexible handset design", the report claims, and means this year's iPhone XR successor will be Apple's final LCD smartphone; hardly surprising given the claims that the firm has been struggling to flog its "budget" iPhone.
Citing people familiar with the production plans, the WSJ reports that Apple LCD's panel supplier, Japan Display, is seeking investor help that will put it on firmer ground before the switch to OLED-only iPhones takes place.
This isn't the first time we've heard chatter about Apple plotting an all-OLED iPhone lineup, but earlier rumours claimed the transition could happen as early as this year.
South Korea's ET News, citing industry sources, previously reported that Apple will debut three new iPhones in 2019, all of which will follow the iPhone X and XS in sporting an OLED display. However, the report noted that if Apple releases a fourth iPhone in 2019, that model will likely stick with an LCD screen.
Further, Bloomberg reported that Apple has been exploring how to go beyond the rectangular glass slab; a move that would only be enabled by more versatile OLED screens.
LCD has fallen out of fashion in the last few years primarily because it requires a standalone backlight component. The pixels of an OLED screen are individually lit, which allows them to be used in devices with more irregular shapes. Apple has also been exploring microLED displays as another LCD alternative.
6/11/18: Does your iPhone XS already bore you? Good news: as sure as night follows day, new iPhones are always just around the corner, and the latest report suggests that the 2020 model will be the first company handset to pack 5G in.
If that news leaves you feeling sad that Apple seems to be dragging its feet, it's probably worth reflecting on the fact that having 5G in your phone in 2019 will likely be an entirely pointless endeavour in future proofing. Like ensuring your new shoes will be great for the office and the first Martian colony.
Yes, a bunch of Android phones will have 5G modems in the next year, but the opportunity to use that speed will be almost pointlessly limited - and that's before you even get into the likely bugginess and huge battery drain that the smartphone vanity plates will have. Those points withstanding, do you really want to give Apple an excuse to raise their prices further?
With that in mind, even 2020 may feel a tad optimistic, but FastCompany reckons that Apple has already planned Intel as its modem supplier. The report suggests that Apple is using Intel's 8160 chip for testing, but hopes that the 10nm 8161 will provide faster speeds and greater efficiency for the finished product.
Indeed, sources report that the current 8060 model is having problems with heat dissipation, which isn't ideal for something that spends much of its life in your pocket, perilously close to your sensitive regions.
As a backup, the report says, Apple will turn to MediaTek. Of course, Qualcomm also has its own X50 modem for 5G, but given the escalating legal battles between the chip giant and Apple, you would imagine that a deal will only be struck there once Hell freezes over. Which, helpfully, may well occur before 5G actually delivers on its promise. µ
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