Apple has notified Intel that it won’t be requiring its 5G Sunny Peak modem for the 2020 roster of iPhones. Intel has now reportedly halted development of this iteration of Sunny Peak and directed the team towards other efforts which Intel hopes will boost its 5G programmes. The company hopes to re-pitch Sunny Peak to Apple in 2022 according to sources.
Part of the reason that Sunny Peak had to be postponed for the time being is because Apple would have been the “key mobile customer” and would have expected them to be the “main volume driver” for the product. According to the leak, Intel believes Apple’s decision not to use Sunny Peak was a result of “many factors”. It also said that Apple is facing a “massive effort” to launch 5G.
Three reasons stand out as to why Apple could be holding off on the hardware. The first reason is the introduction of WiGig (802.11ad) which Intel said “brings new and unanticipated challenges”. Perhaps Apple wants to wait until this is more mature. The second reason refers back to a note by Northland analyst Gus Richard who suggested Apple could turn to MediaTek to manufacture modems.
The third possibility for not wanting the hardware could be that Apple is planning to make its own hardware. Back in April, Bloomberg reported that Apple was planning to use its own hardware in Mac computers to replace Intel’s CPUs. It’s true that Apple already develops its own chips on the iPhone but perhaps it wants to develop even more of its own hardware.
In the immediate future, it looks as though Apple will stick exclusively with Intel to provide the modems for its smartphone line-up.
Update: Intel reached out to us explaining that “Intel’s 5G customer engagements and roadmap have not changed for 2018 through 2020. We remain committed to our 5G plans and projects.”
What do you think Apple will do with respect to modems on the iPhone? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.