Apple’s next-gen iPhones said to lack 5G modem to match rivals’ data speed

“Verizon Corp., AT&T Inc. and the rest of the U.S. wireless industry have a big boast for this year’s crop of smartphones: thanks to network upgrades, devices will be able to download as much as a gigabit of data in a single second — speeds 100 times faster than before,” Ian King, Scott Moritz, and Mark Gurman report for Bloomberg. “But that won’t be the case for Apple Inc.’s newest iPhones, devices to go on sale later this year, leaving the company’s most important product potentially lagging behind the data performance of rival smartphones.”

“One of Apple’s suppliers, Qualcomm Inc., sells a modem capable of the 1 gigabit download speeds. Another supplier, Intel Corp., is working on a modem with the same capability, but it won’t be ready for the iPhone’s introduction, according to people familiar with Apple’s decision.,” King, Moritz, and Gurman report. “Apple could in theory just use Qualcomm’s chips, but it has an aversion to being dependent on a single supplier, and its relationship with San Diego-based Qualcomm is particularly thorny.”

“Until Intel is able to offer its chips with matching features, Apple won’t enable some of capabilities of the phones running with Qualcomm modems, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plan isn’t public,” King, Moritz, and Gurman report. “Apple used two modem suppliers — and the same technique to mask performance disparities — for last year’s iPhone 7. But the rise of gigabit wireless networks could make the strategy more risky: iPhone users will have a unified experience, no matter what modem is inside the new device, but it could look even less speedy compared to newer gigabit-ready smartphones from other manufacturers.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This story sounds like an idea dropped into reporters’ laps from Qualcomm’s department of disinformation.

5G is still very much in the trial phase and will have very limited availability in 2018. There is currently no standard for 5G deployments. The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance says that 5G should be rolled out in the U.S. by 2020.

Apple’s next-gen iPhones will be just fine.

What’s really exciting about 5G is that wireless broadband will eventually be able to compete with the fscking, overcharging, deceitful-bundling, monopoly-abusing cable company ISPs and give people real choice and lower prices that competition delivers.

Your competition-free ride is almost over, Comcast, Spectrum, etc.!

Yes, Apple is throttling download speeds for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Verizon and Sprint versions – November 19, 2016
Apple’s modem choices may leave Verizon iPhone users feeling throttled – November 18, 2016
Tests show iPhone 7 Plus models with Qualcomm modem perform significantly better than those with Intel modem – October 20, 2016

Apple just poached one of Qualcomm’s top guys – May 31, 2017
Supreme Court rules against Lexmark strengthening FTC/Apple cases against Qualcomm – May 30, 2017
Desperate Qualcomm seeks injunction against Apple’s suppliers – May 25, 2017
Qualcomm files new lawsuit in ongoing Apple feud targeting four major iPhone suppliers – May 17, 2017
FTC says Qualcomm is a monopoly; Samsung agrees – May 13, 2017
What seems reasonable to Qualcomm isn’t to Apple: Royalty dispute ultimately affects iPhone prices – May 8, 2017
Qualcomm to seek U.S. ITC import ban for Apple iPhones – May 3, 2017
Qualcomm slashes profit forecasts as Apple ceases paying iPhone royalties – April 28, 2017
BlackBerry awarded $815 million in arbitration with Qualcomm over royalty overpayments – April 13, 2017
Qualcomm countersues Apple – April 11, 2017
Qualcomm wants FTC to drop their antitrust suit, but it doesn’t mater because Apple’s isn’t going anywhere – April 5, 2017
Apple’s dispute with Qualcomm could last two years – March 3, 2017
Apple widens global patent war, files lawsuit against Qualcomm in the United Kingdom – March 2, 2017
Apple may have paid Qualcomm $40 per iPhone; accounting for 1/3rd of Qualcomm’s revenue – February 10, 2017
Conservative groups ask President Trump to terminate FCC lawsuit over Qualcomm patent licensing – January 27, 2016
Qualcomm CEO fires back at Apple: Bring it on – January 26, 2017
Apple sues Qualcomm in China seeking 1 billion yuan – January 25, 2017
Qualcomm comments on Apple’s lawsuits in China – January 25, 2017
Apple’s rebellion against the ‘Qualcomm Tax’ – January 24, 2017
Despite lawsuit, Qualcomm wants to keep doing business – January 24, 2017
Why Apple, the FTC, and others are attacking Qualcomm’s royalty model – January 24, 2017
Here are the most damning parts of Apple’s blockbuster lawsuit against Qualcomm – January 23, 2017
Apple’s legal assault on Qualcomm part of iPhone margin grab – January 23, 2017
Qualcomm says Apple’s claims are ‘baseless’ in response to Cupertino’s $1 billion lawsuit – January 21, 2017
Apple sues Qualcomm for $1 billion over onerous licensing practices – January 20, 2017
Qualcomm exec says FTC ‘rushed’ antitrust lawsuit before President-elect Trump’s inauguration – January 19, 2017
FTC alleges Qualcomm forced Apple into iPhone LTE chip deals – January 18, 2017
FTC charges Qualcomm with monopolizing key smartphone chip; alleges extracted exclusivity from Apple in exchange for reduced patent royalties – January 17, 2017


  1. 5G is a protocol currently under trial. Its standards have not been finalized yet. Guess who offered the first 5G modem for handsets? Hint: not friendly with Apple.

      1. Entertainment? Derek you bore me to death. Stop trying to be smarter then the rest of us and go back to typing your contacts database on your G3 already.

        1. *swagger*swagger* Mr. Tyrannical teen bopper. Oh and anonymous coward.

          Seriously, ask yourself why you are motivated to spew yourself, generically, into other people’s lives. Who’s a boring little troll?

          Life is for becoming one’s best self. Try that avenue. I highly recommend it.

          1. Derek? Everyone has to agree with you. I’m sick of it, I have read MDN since buying my first flagship 3GS. Ohh and I am 39 years old.

            What’s odd here is you are acting like a keyboard warrior? You have said time and time again to many here that they are anonymous cowards. But what does that even mean? You use a caricature as an avatar? So if I make a geeky caricature of myself and use that and my whole name (which is shared by many on his planet) will that help? Will that make me brave like you?

            And you miss the point. As Apple users we want to browse the web, make payments etc. all without having to tell the web who we are, like people who use Facebook.

            But if you like Derek I will be a sadist and make an effigy of myself just like you and post with that so I can be a hero just like you.

          1. Do you think it’s right that he blows it all away with expletives? Doesn’t sound so smart to me? Derek is lucky – he has magic access to Wikipedia, the rest of us can only learn from over there too, only if Derek provides us links to the articles. He is a sadist.

            1. A point of semantics – Actually, bullshit is not an expletive (swear word) even though it is sometimes used as one. It has definite meaning, unlike pure expletives which only convey a burst of emotion. And, from what I’ve read, Derek Currie hasn’t used any other expletives. Call him old, self-important, arrogant, presumptuous or clueless – but he’s mild as a lamb next to the real fire-breathers that pollute sites like this.

    1. Apple may have mostly neglected the Mac for a few years, but Apple’s iPhones have always been best in class. Hell, Apple invented the modern smartphone. And the iPhone 7s and 8 will continue to be industry leading, as well.

      Now, just because of this Qualcomm-sourced propaganda BS, you feel empowered to diss Apple’s iPhones as “yesterday’s technology” because they reportedly won’t enable experimental 5G wireless technology that *isn’t even finalized, much less rolled out for the public*.

      Tool. Tool. Tool.

      How can anyone take you seriously when all that you do is bellyache and post histrionic crap?

      1. To be fair, some of the earlier iphones had a history of not supporting various higher speed networks aroung the world. Most famously the iphone 1 didn’t have 3G. Then when they introduced 3G they didn’t support all 3G networks around the world.

  2. As to the MDN take:
    Comcast sells you 1TB of data for about the same price AT&T sells you 5GB of mobile LTE data. Overages on Comcast are 50 GB for $10 and overages on AT&T are 1GB for $10. As a customer of AT&T wireless, Verizon Wireless and Comcast for home ISP, I speak from knowledge.

    If you think mobile data priced at current rates is somehow competition for cable or fiber internet you are either smoking something or blindly following Ajit Pai- former Verizon Lawyer, FCC Chair and butt boi of the ISP/TelCo lobbies.

    If you live in a city or high $ suburban area you have some limited competition for home internet. Where I live we have Comcast and AT&T Fiber is being rolled out, but many people have one broadband provider choice. Wireless is different, but data caps keep it from being competitive. One HD movie on iTunes will blow up your mobile data plan for the month. That means unless your online experience is light browsing and email, wireless is no competition.

    And to the iPhone: I usually keep my iPhone 2 years and the next iPhone will likely either lack the capability or have an early version that will be lacking over it’s lifetime. If this is the case, I will sit this cycle out. The inside of the phone is more important than the styling.

    1. DavGreg you’re comparing the present to the future in an inexplicable act of egregious obtuseness.

      When 5G rolls out we’ll see. I suspect MDN is right. This is why Comass is slow-walking their participation on AppleTV. When 5G comes they want their customers locked in.

      Won’t work in the long term I suspect.

      Not in the short term either for me.

    2. As I understand it, Qualcomm’s 5G technology—like most of its rivals—involves the use of much higher frequencies (millimeter waves) that can carry more data but have a shorter range and less penetration. In a cellular communications system with much smaller cells, that is a desirable feature, not a bug. More cells without crosstalk means that more devices can be supported simultaneously.

      However, it means that if Verizon, AT&T, etc. want to implement a 5G system, they not only have to replace the LTE radios on their existing towers with 5G, but have to install a lot more towers in between the existing ones. That is going to cost a lot of money.

      Any bets on the mobile providers making that investment and then substantially cutting their prices?

      1. Mesh technology seems to be gaining hold. As such future mobile devices may simply become part of a mesh network that allows higher average speeds overall w/o as high an equipment investment by carriers in new cell towers.

      2. Also…my contacts at AT&T tell me they do not need to change out existing hardware to move to 5G. 5G will be a software push to their existing towers. Where their build out will be is in cheap expandable repeaters “Air Gig” that report back to a centralized cell tower. I suspect we see a roll out of 5G by the end of this year and start of next. As with any “x”G upgrade, it takes 3-5 years to fully make the shift. Apple usually is averse to being on the bleeding edge of new tech. They will join the party once the infrastructure is firmly in place.

  3. Yeah but, Apple always take the courageous path, right? Thunderbolt, USB-C, headphone jack delete, when nobody else is putting that out, so why shouldn’t they have the ‘courage’ to put 5G in? You know, you can’t have it both ways (fanbois).

    Pure hypocrisy. (If this is true)

    1. Are you attempting to compete with DavGreg for MDN Forum Tool of the Year? You certainly have a chance at winning, particularly with your frequent use of the derogatory term “fanbois.”

      5G wireless will be useless to consumers for a couple of years or more. And who knows if the 5G implementation in the new Qualcomm chip will be fully compatible with 5G when it arrives?

      Apple has broken new technological ground many times…*when it made sense.” In this case, Apple has decided that it doesn’t.

  4. *sigh* Does this utter bullshit deserve caps and bold? I guess so…

    5G IS ONLY A PROPOSED STANDARD. I predict that we won’t see widespread REAL 5G for three years from now. Please iCal me.

    Meanwhile: Apple’s iPhones currently support REAL 4G, aka LTE Advanced, which sickly and sadly still hasn’t been universally rolled out in the USA. Maybe in 2018? If so, Apple’s current iPhones will immediately take advantage of it.

    So. To Ian King, Scott Moritz, and Mark Gurman report for Bloomberg: BULLSHIT. You’ve been called out for BULLSHIT.

    1. Amen. Apple is not behind & it is certainly not clueless.

      Just for the record, my 5s performs superbly for everything I do including acting as a hotspot for my MBPro viewing series video from the likes of KCET/PBS.

      I’m sure that the iPhone 8 will do even better speeds.

      1. Thanks for the links Derek, the rest of us would have never known we could have searched the internet for more information about this! Get a life you sad old man.

        1. As this bullshit article indicates, the writers themselves didn’t bother to check the links I provided, did they sad little troll who hides behind a generic nick. You’re worried about ‘old’. Worry about solving your undermining inferiority problem. Getting older will provide that opportunity.

    2. Stop with the expletives already Dad! Act your own age. Unlike everyone else, you attempt to carefully craft your responses from your G3. Adding a splash of bold and emphasis here and there, and when that doesn’t work you use expletives to try and win us over to your side of the argument. When it fact it does quite the opposite.

      Think different.

  5. We have 110Mb service at home but rarely see that from most web sites. I’m sure 5G will be nice but I don’t expect it to be that outstanding. It seems like there are other bottlenecks to deal with.

    1. So it will be useful in some respects, but not as an all-purpose wireless solution unless 5G nodes are installed even couple of hundred meters or so.

  6. I hope when this advance in technology is fully baked and ready for the general market that the wireless carriers where I live will reduce data pricing. Theoretically (not likely, in the real world), with the new standard, I could blow through my wireless monthly data allotment in 3 seconds, then face outrageous overage charges (something like $10 per 100MB).

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