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The next big event from Apple will be this fall, and the hot money is on a new iPhone with 5G. Following Qualcomm’s unexpected settlement with the tech giant last year, it’s expected that the next iPhone will also have its X55 modem. All isn’t a bed of roses in the rekindled business relationship, though, with a report in Fast Company saying that Apple is investigating manufacturing its own 5G antenna in a bid to reduce reliance on Qualcomm hardware.

Qualcomm’s QTM525 antenna, which is purpose-built to access the fastest mmWaves on the 5G spectrum, is reported to be too big to fit the slimline aesthetic of the next iPhone, according to Fast Company. This seems to be the spur that has encouraged Apple to develop its own antenna system. Because the ultra-fast wireless technology that 5G uses has such short-range capabilities, mmWave antennas are very important since most 5G phones need multiple antennas to get a decent level of connectivity.

It’s not yet certain that the new iPhone will have Apple’s in-house 5G antenna included. There are apparently two designs on the table at this point, a thin phone using the Apple antennas and a thicker design that would use Qualcomm’s ones. 

There is a lot of business sense in the choice for Apple to bring out their out 5G antenna hardware; they’re not likely to want to rely on Qualcomm for too long. The long-running lawsuit between the two companies was only settled because Intel couldn’t meet the deadline on an Apple order, so reports Fast Company’s sources. The same source has apparently said that Apple still feels it’s “getting screwed on royalties” when it works with Qualcomm.

Possible iPhone 12. Image credit: ixbt.com

Apple has since purchased the complete 5G modem business from Intel and this has given Apple the chance to hit the ground running with the basics already in place. The company has been able to customize the modems to fit perfectly into iPhones, iPads, and other devices. 

There might still be some time to wait before Apple’s new acquisition can match up to the products made by Qualcomm, but it’ll almost certainly happen someday. Developing their own antennas to work with the new chips seems to be perfectly logical.

The article was originally written by Chaim Gartenberg at The Verge.

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