iPhone 2020: Intel Just Revealed 5G Modem That Hints at Apple Plans
Intel’s new modem is coming, and it could power future iPhones. The company announced on Monday the XMM 8160 will launch half a year earlier than expected, with speeds of up to six gigabits per second placing it up to six times faster than current 4G modems.
The announcement comes as rumors circulate that Apple is laying the groundwork to switch to 5G. A report last week claimed the company would stick with Intel, the current provider of iPhone modems, when it makes the switch to 5G in its 2020 phones. The report claimed Apple would use the 8161 chip, using an 8060 chip as a prototype. Intel’s new chip will now be available in the second half of 2019, with the first commercial devices using the chip coming available in the first half of 2020 — allowing plenty of time for Apple to launch an iPhone in the second half of the year using Intel 5G technology.
Intel’s new chip combines 5G and older connectivity onto a single chip, meaning new devices could switch to older networks in places where 5G has yet to reach full rollout. The chip will support both lower bands of 5G as well as millimeter wave connections. These latter waves cover frequencies of between 30 and 300 GHz, far higher than the sub-6 GHz waves used in current phones. That means a less crowded spectrum, which could mean faster speeds. However, a previous report claims Apple is worried these frequencies currently lead to reduced battery life and hotter phones.
Rumors are slowly building around Apple’s plans for a successor to the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max. With the company’s rollout of face recognition technology complete across the board, attention is now turning to features that could boost augmented reality. A previous report claims Apple will include a depth sensor, similar to the one on the front of the phone, to measure the distance from objects. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects these phones to also feature face scanners that work better in the dark.
As for when they may launch? Every iPhone for the past six years has been announced in September of that year, so expect an announcement sometime 10 months from now.
Hopefully it also comes with a wire-free charging solution.