Market analyst sees MediaTek serving up 5G iPhone modems, supply chain not so sure

MediaTek unveiled its Helio M70 modem at Computex last month, its first to support 5G networks and its first with a 7nm fabrication. The move comes months ahead of plans and it’s all in the name of one potentially huge client catch: Apple.

Digitimes has heard from Taiwanese supply chain sources saying that while the debut happened early thanks to a newly-dedicated integrated circuit division and guaranteed manufacturing help from TSMC, don’t expect product to ship until 2019. But when it does come, some market analysts say that Apple could consider shafting Intel as its secondary modem supplier for MediaTek.

Bloomberg reports that Goldman Sachs has doubts about Intel’s future with Apple and has a “sell” rating on its stock. Gus Richard of investment firm Northland shares the sentiment, noting that Intel may lose out on iPhone modem orders in 2019 on top of losing MacBook chip orders as soon as 2020.

Not so fast, the supply chain sources say, insisting that Apple is looking for MediaTek and its primary modem provider, Qualcomm, to “reach a consensus” on research, development and pipeline. If that can happen, it may be rats for Intel.

Some observers see Apple contracting MediaTek to make new Wi-Fi chips for its smart speaker product, the HomePod. It could stand as a trial to see if this company, long considered an also-ran, may strike gold.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.