While industry bigwigs such as Samsung and Huawei have already embraced 5G and are actively incorporating the tech on their flagships, very little is known about Apple's entry into the market. One set of rumors state that Apple will use its in-house 5G modems, while others state that it'll stick with Qualcomm's X55. Until Apple releases an official statement, we're going to have to rely on third-party leaks for information. Now, a report by German news outlet Winfuture.de shows a public document that details a partnership between Qualcomm and Apple.
Apple will very likely use its in-house 5G modems and Qualcomm's offerings in different variants of upcoming iPhones
The record in question is published by the US International Trade Commission. It is in the public domain and can be read in its entirety here. Parts of the documents that highlight specifics such as price and the hardware's technical specifications are redacted. They are, after all, very sensitive data. There is even some information about yet-to-be-released Qualcomm modems in there somewhere.
Essentially, the document verifies that we should see an Apple device with a 5G modem make its way to the market this year. The first 5G-ready iPhone will make its debut with a Snapdragon X55 modem, its successor with a Snapdragon X60, the one after that with a Snapdragon X65 model and the last one with a Snapdragon X70 modem. Those names are very likely placeholders and subject to change once the products hit the shelves.
It'll be interesting to see just how Apple uses its in-house 5G modems. We know that the Cupertino-based company has been hard at work developing them, and it is unlikely that Apple will abandon them outright. Perhaps the company could take a two-pronged approach like Samsung, and use the Qualcomm 5G chips in some handsets and its in-house solutions in others. Qualcomm and Apple have been at loggerheads ever since the former accused the latter of patent infringement. Although both parties have since reached a settlement, there is bound to be some bad blood between the two. It's good to see that they have decided to bury the hatchet and carry on with business.