Apple has been embroiled in difficulties with 5G chip suppliers Intel and Qualcomm. Back in April, the tech giant settled a licensing dispute with Qualcomm that had lasted for two years. Qualcomm will now produce 5G chips for Apple, but they won’t be ready for this year’s iPhone models, with the new Qualcomm deal stipulating that 5G iPhones cannot be released before 2020.
During the Qualcomm dispute, Apple’s 5G modem partner Intel struggled to produce working chips. The company ultimately decided to exit the 5G chip business altogether after Apple had settled with Qualcomm, citing an inability to make money from delivering the technology for smartphones as the reason.
Given Apple and Qualcomm’s fraught history, it makes sense that Apple wants to bring 5G chip production in-house. The company is currently hiring engineers to work on creating an Apple 5G modem for iPhones, telling interviewees they “expect to have their own modem ready by 2025.”
Most Android-using smartphone companies have plans to bring out a 5G-compatible device this year and carriers are already turning on their enhanced networks.