A new report out of Asia claims Apple’s 2020 iPhone lineup will all use Qualcomm’s latest and greatest 5G-capable X55 modem chip.
Nikkei Asian Review says all three 2020 iPhones (which are expected to be available in 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch sizes), will use the Qualcomm X55 modem chip. The report is sourced from “four people familiar with the plan.” One source indicated the chip could be in such high demand that there may be supply constraints.
The X55 offers offers 7Gb/s peak download speeds and 3Gb/s upload speeds, though actual speeds will depend on the wireless carrier’s network. The chip is the first produced by Qualcomm to support all major frequency bands, operation modes, and network deployments.
The new chip is much more power efficient than its predecessor, the X50 chip, meaning it will draw less energy, contributing to extended battery life when connected to a 5G network.
Apple aims to ship 80 million 5G-capable iPhones next year, claims the report. Apple typically ships between 75 and 80 million new iPhones each year.
The report jibes with an earlier claim by well-connected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said Apple would include 5G in all three of its flagship 2020 iPhones, in an effort to better compete with lower-cost Android handsets that are expected to support 5G.
“Apple is more prepared than previous years to face strong headwinds in China,” Louis Liu, research analyst at Shanghai-based Canalys, said. “But it [still] faces a looming challenge, as Chinese vendors and operators are set to drive heavy marketing and promotions around 5G in the next two quarters. This could steal its thunder.”
The Nikkei Asian Review report also repeats previous rumors that Apple will be switching to a 5-nanometer fabrication process for its A14 processor next year, shrinking the process from the 7nm process used since the A12 Bionic chip debuted in 2018.