FILE PHOTO: Intel’s logo is pictured during preparations at the CeBit computer fair, which will open its doors to the public on March 20, at the fairground in Hanover, Germany, March 19, 2017. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo
(Reuters) – Intel Corp executives said on Friday its modem chips will not appear in mobile phones until 2020, raising the possibility its biggest customer, Apple Inc, will be more than a year behind rivals in delivering a device that uses the faster networks.
Sandra Rivera, who oversees Intel’s networking chip business, said at a media event in Palo Alto, California, that sample 5G modem chips will ship to customers this year but that Intel does not expect consumer “products in the market” until 2020.
Intel has said its 5G modem chip will be available later this year, but it never indicated when it believes products will arrive for consumers. Rivera said non-consumer 5G products, such as networking gear, will appear later this year.
It is unclear whether Intel’s timing on modem chips means that Apple will not have an iPhone with 5G capabilities in 2019. Bloomberg previously reported that Apple would not have a 5G iPhone ready until 2020.
Apple executives have held talk with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and MediaTek Inc over 5G modem chips for iPhones to be released this year, but the outcome of those talks is unknown.
Reuters reported on Feb. 7 that Apple earlier this year moved its modem engineering efforts into the same division that makes its proprietary processor chips.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reporting by Stephen Nellis
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