Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon told PCMag that bringing an iPhone with 5G capabilities to the market is Qualcomm’s biggest focus.
“Priority number one of this relationship with Apple is how to launch their phone as fast as we can. That’s the priority,” said Amon.
Apple and Qualcomm agreed to work together in April, but Amon said that it is probably too late to integrate Qualcomm’s RF front end technologies – including antennas, signal tuners, and power amplifiers – into the upcoming Apple device.
According to Amon, this is because Apple had already confirmed some of the iPhone’s 5G radio features 18 months before the expected launch date of September 2020.
“We re-engaged probably later than both of us would like, and I think we’ve been working together to try to get as much as possible done … so that we can actually launch a phone on schedule with 5G,” said Amon.
Historically, Apple did not use Qualcomm components exclusively – instead, it used Qualcomm modems alongside front end components from other manufacturers.
Apple has been using Intel modems recently, which have reportedly been worse than the Qualcomm alternatives in terms of speed and signal strength.
Apple announced in July that it will acquire the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business.
The transaction is valued at $1 billion and is expected to close at the end of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals.