Apple and chipmaker Qualcomm are working on a faster launch of 5G iPhone, according to Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon.

Speaking to reporters at Qualcomm's Snapdragon Tech Summit he said the plan is to launch the next iPhone with 5G technology “as fast as we can.”

Amon is excited about the two companies' “multi-year” licensing agreement. He said the upcoming 5G iPhone will have Qualcomm modems although it may miss Qualcomm's RF front to avoid delays.

“Priority number one of this relationship with Apple is how to launch their phone as fast as we can,” Amon said.

Apple's iPhone development cycles are long and, naturally, integrating Qualcomm's latest RF front to the 5G iPhone's radio path will spell delay.

The 5G technology implies ultra-fast wireless connections that boost smartphone innovation, instill better video streaming and technical advancements including connecting with self-driving cars.

Throwing light on the pact with Apple, Amon said “We have a multi-year agreement with Apple. It's multi-year for our Snapdragon modem. But we're setting no expectations on the front end, especially because we engaged it very late."

Amon’s statement hinted that Apple has already frozen the 5G iPhone's radio features, a good 18 months before the expected iPhone release in September 2020.

JP Morgan says Apple will launch four 5G iPhones

Meanwhile, the forecast from JPMorgan said Apple may release four 5G-capable iPhones in 2020.

According to JPMorgan analysts, the new Apple iPhones to be rolled out in the second half of 2020 will be in four sizes. They include 5.4 inches, 6.7 inches and two at 6.1 inches, per CNN report.

The report also said the largest iPhone will have sensor-shift technology to render quality videos when capturing motion.

The report differs from other speculations that suggested the 2020 iPhone lineup will mirror the 2019 models with higher-end iPhones to be 5.4 and 6.7-inches and the economy model coming at 6.1-inches.

The 5G smartphone market will also see heightened competition. Samsung and OnePlus will be launching 5G-capable devices.

Carriers such as Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile are expanding their 5G networks.

Mix and match of RF front

In 5G parlance, RF front end implies a thicket of antennas, signal tuners, and power amplifiers for tuning and extracting more signals from difficult networks.

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks about the new Apple TV+ service which will include original shows including "Snoopy in Space"
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks about the new Apple TV+ service which will include original shows including "Snoopy in Space" GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / JUSTIN SULLIVAN

Qualcomm is touting its Snapdragon as a “modem-RF system” suggesting its RF front-end components when used with modems will get the best signal.

But Apple avoids exclusivity to one supplier and has a mix-and-match policy and use Qualcomm modems with Avago and Skyworks front-end components as in the iPhone 7.

Apple had switched to Intel modems when Qualcomm started making its RF front ends.

Eventually, Apple may take some Qualcomm front-end components because Qualcomm is the only maker of millimeter-wave antenna modules that will work on Verizon and AT&T's 5G networks.