In recent weeks there have been a ton of rumors flying around that Huawei could be a potential modem provider for Apple’s first generation of 5G smartphones. That has now officially been addressed at the Huawei Analyst Summit, where Huawei confirmed there has been zero contact with Apple regarding 5G modems.
Apple has a history of working with multiple modem manufacturers, having relied on Qualcomm and Intel for its iPhone handsets for LTE and 4G connectivity. 5G modems are set to be produced by only six companies: Qualcomm, Intel, Huawei, Samsung, UniSOC and Mediatek.
With Apple relying so heavily on an external manufacturer for such an integral internal connectivity component, there are questions as to who they may potentially partner with to fit their demand. Huawei was thrown into the mix, as Apple is currently battling over royalties over previous modem production with Qualcomm over past iPhone devices.
At the Huawei Analyst Summit 2019 (via AnandTech), Huawei finally put any speculation to rest during a Q&A portion of the event. When quizzed about the potential collaboration between Huawei and Apple and 5G modems for the next generation iPhone, a Huawei representative responded:
Response to Apple 5G modems question: No change in terms of our chip set strategy. And no communication with Apple about #5G modems. But they believe that Apple is a great company and a pivotal company in the mobile industry. #HAS2019
— Anshel Sag (@anshelsag) April 16, 2019
Huawei and its Balong 5000 5G modem was seen as an alternative to Qualcomm, Samsung, and Intel — whose technology is slightly behind the other players in this space. By giving a clearer answer, Huawei is setting out to quell further rumors.
This dismissal of Apple contact also poses the questions as to whether it will be Samsung or Intel — the most likely players — that provides the next generation of iPhones with 5G modems. It surely would be a mountain to climb for Qualcomm, who are currently embroiled in a massive legal battle with Apple over those previous modems.
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