Apple reportedly slated to release a 5G iPhone in 2020

Apple could debut a 5G-capable iPhone in 2020, a source familiar with Cupertino's phone making plans told Fast Company.

While the likes of Qualcomm tout 5G-capable chipsets and Samsung and Huawei push ahead with 5G technology with an aim to have the tech ready for 2019 when 5G is expected to properly roll out, Apple appears to be playing a longer game.

Rather then rush out a 5G-capable iPhone Apple is potentially waiting to see whether 5G has a healthy enough uptake to warrant bringing such connectivity to its iPhones.

If it does, Intel is slated to be the 5G chip provider with the 2020 iPhones expected to use Intel's 8161 5G modem chip, despite rumours that Apple will be looking to build its own chipsets in the near-future.

The modem chip in current generation iPhones, such as the iPhone Xs, use Intel modem chips, so it would look like Apple will use its existing relationship with Intel to get on the 5G bandwagon, at least until Cupertino works out its own route with making chips in-house.

Chip maker MediaTek is also slated to be poised as a partner for Apple to act as a form of Plan B' if problems arise with Intel supplying it with 5G modem chips.

A slew of 5G-capable phones from the likes of Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi are expected to debut early 2019.

But as the standalone 5G standard has only just been finalised this year in the form of 5G New Radio, the new wave of wireless connectivity is very much in its infancy. So it makes sense that Apple will wait and see how the technology develops before committing to a 5G iPhone.

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland is a passionate newshound whose journalism training initially involved a broadcast specialism, but he’s since found his home in breaking news stories online and in print.

He held a freelance news editor position at ITPro for a number of years after his lengthy stint writing news, analysis, features, and columns for The Inquirer, V3, and Computing. He was also the news editor at Silicon UK before joining Tom’s Guide in April 2020 where he started as the UK Editor and now assumes the role of Managing Editor of News.

Roland’s career has seen him develop expertise in both consumer and business technology, and during his freelance days, he dabbled in the world of automotive and gaming journalism, too.