APPLE’S NEXT-GENERATION iPhones could be the first to ship with a 5G modem, according to a report at Reuters.

While earlier rumours claimed the iPhone wouldn’t be getting a 5G modem until 2020, Reuters reports that Apple has considered Samsung, MediaTek, and its current wireless chip provider Intel to supply 5G modem chips for the 2019 iPhones.

The claim comes from testimony during Apple’s ongoing trial between Qualcomm and the US Federal Trade Commision (FTC) today.

According to Apple supply chain exec Tony Blevins, who testified at the trial, the firm had long sought multiple suppliers for modem chips but signed an agreement with Qualcomm to exclusively supply the chips because it offered “deep rebates on patent license costs in exchange for exclusivity.”

11/1/19: Apple reportedly plans to release a new LCD iPhone in 2019, despite the lacklustre response to the current iPhone XR. 

That’s according to the Wall Street Journal, which reports that Apple will release three new smartphones later this year, including two OLED models and one LCD-equipped handset, the latter of which will arrive as the successor to the iPhone XR.

The underwhelming reception of the iPhone XR has seen Apple consider the possibility of dropping the LCD-based model entirely, claims the report’s sources, which would result in a complete shift to using OLED displays for the iPhone range, as previously rumoured. 

However, it looks set to keep an LCD model in its iPhone lineup for now, with the WSJ noting that Apple’s project planning has progressed to a point where major features, like the display, cannot be easily changed.

7/1/19: We’re still nine months away from the launch of Apple’s next-gen iPhones, but the first alleged renders have already shown up online.

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The renders (above), shared by usually-reliable tipster @OnLeaks, show a protruding Mate 20 Pro-esque square camera array comprising with three lenses, the third offset from the other two, and an accompanying flash and microphone. Previous rumours suggest that the third camera will be a 3D ToF sensor, but this remains speculation for now.

While this ugly sensor looks a far cry from Apple’s usual, minimal design approach, the leak has been backed up by equally-reliable tipster Ice Universe (below), which suggests it’s at least close to the real deal.

OnLeaks also backs up earlier rumours that Apple will launch three iPhones this year; successors to the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. It’s likely that the model in the renders is the highest-spec XS Max follow-up, but this has not been confirmed.

10/12/18: Don’t go getting too excited about next year’s iPhones, as they’ll allegedly look a whole lot like Apple’s current lineup.

So says analyst Anne Lee of Japanese investment bank Nomura, who predicts that the design of the 2019 iPhones isn’t going to change much compared to the current iPhone XS, XS Max and XR, 9to5Mac reports

“We think the three new iPhones in 2H19F will likely have the same form factors (body size and displays) as the 2H18 iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max, with some added AR [augmented reality]-related features,” Lee wrote in a research note.

2020’s iPhones will be worth getting excited about though, according to Lee, who expects to see an all-new notchless design, 5G support and souped-up augmented reality (AR) functionality. 

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“We think 2019 could be the last year the iPhone uses the iPhone X design architecture, in preparation for initial hardware specs for 5G (sub-6GHz) and AR (augmented reality), before greater architecture upgrades in 2020F for 5G and a more comprehensive AR system,” she added.

 

4/2/18: Despite earlier rumours to the contrary, a new report claims that Apple’s 2019 iPhones won’t offer support for 5G networks.

Bloomberg report co-authored by noted Apple oracle Mark Gurman claims that Apple won’t introduce a 5G-capable iPhone next year, and will instead “hold off until at least 2020”.

People “familiar with Apple’s plans” suggested that the delay could be related to the company’s feud with Qualcomm, noting that its new BFF Intel won’t have chips available in time to support 2019 phones.

Regardless, it’s a risky move from Apple, as some of its biggest competitors are gearing up to launch 5G devices next year, including Huawei, OnePlus and Samsung, the latter of which is expected to launch a 5G version of the Galaxy S10 in February

“Apple has always been a laggard in cellular technology,” said Mark Hung, an analyst at Gartner, told Bloomberg. “They weren’t impacted in the past, but 5G is going to be much easier to market. But if they wait beyond 2020, then I think they’ll be impacted.”

 

 

12/11/18: Apple’s next-gen iPhones will adopt new antenna technology to prepare for the arrival of a 5G-capable handset in 2020. 

We’re still, er, 10 months away from the launch of Apple’s next iPhones, and we’ve already heard murmurs of a notch-less full-screen design, upgraded Face ID tech and a fully OLED lineup.

Apple oracle Ming Chi-Kuo is the latest to offer up some premature predictions about what we can expect from the devices. In a research note seen by 9to5Mac, Kuo says he expects Apple to shift away from Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) antenna technology in favour of a new combination of Modified PI tech, primarily to improve yield rates and simplify the production process.

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LCP is more “brittle” than alternatives, Kup notes, and causes issues with yield rate, while the Modified PI antenna “can be as good as LCP thanks to the improved fluoride formula.”

Kuo expects Apple to rope in five suppliers to equip it with MPI tech, and predicts that the 2019 iPhone models will adopt four MPI antennae and two LCP antennae; currently, the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max are each equipped with six LCP antenna. 

This all sounds well and good, and, er, fairly boring, and it’s unlikely to be any more exciting for the average consumer, who won’t see any noticeable performance benefits from the antenna switch-up. However, both LCP and MPI will be involved in the push towards 5G technology, and these latest rumours come just weeks after a report claimed that Apple will release its first 5G smartphone in 2020

According to these online murmurs, Apple has already signed up Intel as its 5G modem supplier; the firm is reportedly using Intel’s 8060 chip for testing, but hopes that the 10nm 8161 will provide faster speeds and greater efficiency for the finished product.

As a backup, 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. µ

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