Because there is no harm in helping your rival
Last year at MWC 2018, Huawei was one of the first brands to unveil a commercially-available 5G modem with the Balong 5000. Fast forward to a year later, more brands join in the 5G race, with Xiaomi, OPPO, Samsung, LG, Sony, and OnePlus–all of them utilizing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 paired with their X55 modem.
Apple has yet announced any 5G device, and while it is dealing with a public spat with Qualcomm, the Cupertino-based company might have another alternative aside from MediaTek.
According to a report by Engadget, Huawei is open to selling its Balong 5000 5G modems to Apple. While it may sound strange considering Huawei does not sell its chips to other companies, the idea is plausible: Apple is looking for new chip suppliers, and wants to launch their first 5G iPhone by 2020.
Huawei may gain a new revenue stream and a new client should it offer its 5G chips to Apple. The Cupertino-based company is keeping its options open, as Samsung and Qualcomm refuse to supply Apple with 5G chips. On the other hand, Intel’s development of its XMM 8160 5G multimode modem is in murky waters, and it is unlikely to launch this year.
Will a Huawei-Apple partnership be possible? If the deal is at the right price, Apple might take a gamble and disregard Huawei’s issues with the US government in order to make its 5G iPhones a reality. Unless Apple can figure out how to make its own 5G chips, Huawei might be its best option right now.