According to a report by Bloomberg, working with Qualcomm was probably the only way for Apple to soon adopt the new high-speed wireless standard.
In simple terms, Qualcomm has resources that Apple and any other company that Apple could hire to make 5G modems do not have. Apple was planning to work with Intel to create an iPhone 5G until the judicial settlement, but even in this case, Intel apparently could not compete with Qualcomm's expertise and resources in 5G space.
"Qualcomm is probably the only company in the world to be able to install a 5G modem in an Apple phone by next year," said Bloomberg analyst Northland Capital Markets.
Indeed, the plan now is for Apple to release a 5G-compatible iPhone by 2020 using Qualcomm technology, according to Bloomberg. But given the nature of the partnership between Apple and Qualcomm and the relatively short time required to complete it, it is possible that we do not see an iPhone 5G next year.
The chairman of Moor Insights & Strategy, Patrick Moorhead, said that the publishing goal of the iPhone 5G was in the 2020 horizon could be "tight" and I predicted to release 2021 instead.
Although it is not necessary to put the iPhone 5G in the hands of consumers in 2020, a longer wait might not be the worst thing in the world. The ultra-fast wireless standard is not available in the United States. Verizon launched its 5G network in Minneapolis and Chicago last week, while Sprint and T-Mobile have leaflets on the way, too.
AT & T also launched a 5G network in 12 cities at the end of last year, with support for more markets this year. That said, one of the carrier's 5G services would be not a lot of an upgrade on the regular 4G service. It may take some time before the 5G realizes its true potential with support in most markets and most devices.