Apple's rumored 5G iPhone could have a homemade antenna

Qualcomm's antennas are reportedly too bulky for Apple's designs.

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert

The rumored 5G iPhone could come with an Apple-designed antenna.

Angela Lang/CNET

Apple is reportedly designing its own antenna for the rumored 5G iPhone that could hit shelves in 2020. The tech giant might skip Qualcomm's antenna component because it's not "sleek" enough for Apple's needs, Fast Company reported Friday citing unnamed sources.

While Apple's competitors have already launched multiple 5G phones -- including the newly unveiled Samsung Galaxy S20 -- Apple has yet to do so. Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo is predicting Apple will unveil three 5G phones in 2020. 

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The phone giant is also predicted to launch the iPhone 12, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max in September, with the iPhones rumored to come in dark blue with a bigger screen. The 2020 iPhone could also come with Qualcomm's ultrasonic fingerprint reader.

The tech giant's history of working with Qualcomm on its phones is long and complex. Apple had originally used phone chips from German company Infineon when it first launched the iPhone, before switching to Qualcomm in 2011. Intel then bought Infineon in 2011, but those chips weren't used again until the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in 2016 after a dispute over Qualcomm's licensing fees.

Apple and Qualcomm settled their legal battle and reached a multiyear deal in April 2019 that will see Qualcomm provide the 5G chip for the iPhone.

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