Tech and Media


Intel says its 5G modem chips will not appear in phones until 2020

Intel Corp executives said on Friday its 5G modem chips will not appear in mobile phones until 2020, raising the possibility its biggest customer, Apple Inc, will be more than a year behind rivals in delivering a device that uses the faster networks.

Sandra Rivera, who oversees Intel’s networking chip business, said at a media event in Palo Alto, California, that sample 5G modem chips will ship to customers this year but that Intel does not expect consumer “products in the market” until 2020.

Intel has said its 5G modem chip will be available later this year, but it never indicated when it believed products will arrive for consumers. Rivera said non-consumer 5G products, such as networking gear, will appear later this year.

It was unclear whether Intel’s timing on modem chips means that Apple will not have an iPhone with 5G capabilities in 2019. Bloomberg previously reported that Apple would not have a 5G iPhone ready until 2020.

Apple executives have held talks with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and MediaTek Inc over 5G modem chips for iPhones to be released this year, but the outcome of those talks is unknown.

In the petition to Microsoft executives, posted on Twitter, the workers said they “did not sign up to develop weapons, and we demand a say in how our work is used.” They called on the company to develop “a public-facing acceptable use policy” for its technology and an external review board to publicly enforce it.

Microsoft said in a statement that it always appreciates employee feedback. It also referred to an October blog post by its president, Brad Smith, in which he said the company remained committed to assisting the military and would advocate for laws to ensure responsible use of new technologies.

The U.S. Army did not provide immediate comment.

Shares of Microsoft fell 7 cents to $110.90 after hours on Friday.

Though many governments want to draw upon the expertise of the biggest U.S. tech companies, employee resistance has added a new challenge to already complicated relationships.

Worker pushback led Alphabet Inc last year to announce it would not renew a Pentagon contract in which its artificial intelligence technology is used to analyze drone imagery.

In other cases, employee criticism has invited greater public scrutiny to deals, such as $10 billion cloud computing contract yet to be awarded and various contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

One Microsoft worker, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was unclear whether any of the lead petitioners’ work was part of the Army contract. Another said several organizers work in the company’s cloud computing division, which is competing with rivals Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services to gain more government work.

Microsoft is expected unveil updates to HoloLens, its headset for businesses and governments, during an event at the Mobile World Congress industry conference in Barcelona on Sunday.