As Apple continues to fight its way through the quagmire of lawsuits against it, the company from Cupertino is also still looking for modem suppliers besides Qualcomm and Intel. To the surprise of many, one unlikely company has stepped forward with an olive branch, as well as the offer of its 5G modems: Huawei.
According to a report by Engadget, the Chinese technology company disclosed to the news site that it was willing to supply its 5G Balong 5000 chipsets. If only to help Apple to ship out a 5G-capable iPhone within the next couple of years. As these things usually go, there is a catch; Huawei says that it will only supply its modems to Apple, and no one else.
While Huawei’s intentions may seem noble, it’s not surprising that many in the industry have cast doubt over the offer. For a start, Huawei has stated that its Balong chipsets are primarily designed to support the brand’s smartphones and IoT products.
Second, Huawei has expressed its ambitions about becoming the world’s leading smartphone brand; it even has the numbers to back up that statement. As such, the fact that it is trying to help one of its main rivals in its 5G endeavour does raise some alarms.
At current, Intel is Apple’s major supplier of modems. Having said that, Apple might not even have any other alternative; according to a report by the Fast Company, the brand seems to have “lost confidence” in Intel after it failed to meet certain deadlines. To make matters worse, an analyst from the UBS doesn’t believe that Intel will have a “single chip backwards compatible 5G modem” ready in time for Apple to launch a 5G iPhone by 2020.
Apple has yet to response to Huawei’s offer, and it still remains unclear whether the company will accept it. As it stands, the company is also trying to develop its own 5G modem in an effort to reduce its dependency on third-party suppliers.