China-based electronics firm Huawei says it might be open to selling its 5G Balong 5000 chipset, but only to Apple.
Engadget reports the company usually refuses to supply its components to other device manufacturers, but that the company is now “open” to selling the 5G chips, but only to Apple.
Apple is reportedly struggling with the manufacture of 5G modems for its 2020 iPhone lineup. Apple’s modem partner, Intel, may not have its 5G tech ready by then.
Although Apple is said to be working on its own modem chip designs for future iPhones, that technology isn’t expected be ready any earlier than 2021.
As Apple is currently engaged in an ongoing legal battle with Qualcomm, the Cupertino firm is highly unlikely to turn to the San Diego-based modem maker for its 5g modem supply.
Apple is reportedly in talks with both Samsung and Mediatek for 5G modems for the 2020 iPhone, but it isn’t known how well those talks are going.
Huawei usually restricts usage of its chips strictly to its own devices, but the company’s Balong 5000 chip could be suitable for Apple devices with support for sub-6 and mmWave 5G networks along with backwards compatibility with LTE networks.
We should note that Huawei and Apple aren’t exactly best buds, and Huawei is currently under investigation by the U.S. government for allegedly using “dubious tactics” to steal trade secrets from U.S. companies, including Apple. That makes the likelihood of a partnership between Apple and Huawei somewhere around slim to none.