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Apple entering the 5G world of telecommunication


Apple reached a deal after a long-running patent royalty dispute with chipmaker Qualcomm.

This is expected  to pave the way for releasing a 5G iPhone as soon as next year, which will result in soaring investment in 5G communications technology and infrastructure 

Huawei Technologies, and leading chip supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. both welcomed news that the U.S. tech giant settled.

“We really look forward to Apple joining the race,” said Ken Hu, Huawei’s rotating chairman. 

Apple’s entry would push others in the industry to move more quickly, he said. “As more and more players roll out 5G smartphones, investments to build the 5G network will boom as well — and they make more sense now.”

TSMC, the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, echoed Hu’s comments.

“The settlement is a booster for future 5G smartphone deployment,” said Lora Ho, chief financial officer and senior vice president. “It helps to eradicate uncertainties that linger in the industry [related to 5G].”

A person close to Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest smartphone maker, said the company also expects to benefit when Apple debuts a 5G iPhone.

“For Samsung, it is no bad thing that Apple launches [5G] phones,” the person said, because the South Korean company also can supply parts to the American rival.

5G wireless technology is expected to enable faster data transfers, helping unlock innovations such as self-driving cars, remote surgery, augmented reality and artificial intelligence. 

Though politicians have pushed carriers to invest, some are cautious about the scale of spending required, as these innovations remain in the distance and 4G can do much more.

So far, 5G networks are available only in limited parts of South Korea and the U.S. Japan plans to begin such service by 2020, ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games.

But the arrival of a 5G iPhone could accelerate adoption of the technology.

“Apple’s entrance to 5G smartphones will definitely encourage Asian countries to set up their 5G network quickly,” said So Hyun-chul, an analyst at Shinhan Investment. 

Japan, for instance, will want to ensure that a 5G iPhone will work there, the analyst said.

Eddie Han, an analyst at Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute, said 5G smartphone shipments are expected to reach only 3 million to 4 million units this year, then rise to 35 million in 2020. 

But next year’s figure could jump to 75 million or even 100 million units if Apple joined the market, he said.

Han expressed confidence, saying “5G iPhones will definitely be available next year. 

That would surely drive the market demand dramatically and drive mobile operators to get the 5G network ready as soon as possible … 

it’s a great booster to the industry.”

Apple’s entry will spotlight the value of 5G investment, Huawei’s Hu said. Many have been investing “blindly as it has been a buzzword since the second half of last year,” he said. 

“We finally see the industry as a whole is investing in 5G based on a market value perspective,” he said. “This kind of investment is very reliable and solid.”

Posted on April 20, 2019

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