When it comes to mobile devices in 2019, two trends in particular will feature heavily – foldable phones and 5G. The latter takes our focus for now with Intel recently debuting its new 5G mobile modemĀ in the form of the XMM 8160.

The American chipmaker says the XM8160 will be sent to OEMs in the second half of 2019, with the first devices featuring the modem expected in early 2020.

As such it will be a bit of a wait before Intel tech will be used to power the 5G capabilities of mobile devices. This seems to put a potential spanner in the works for Apple, which is trying to get a 5G device into the market as soon as possible, as their competitors are already scheduled to release such phones next year.

Whether Apple looks to another manufacturer in the interim remains to be seen.

The Intel XMM 8160 modem’s size in relation to a US penny.

Shifting back to the new Intel modem, the company says it is not solely intended for use in mobile devices, but PCs, notebooks and broadband hubs as well.

To that end the XM8160 can muster peak speeds of up to 6Gbps, according to Intel, and will support both standard and non-standard specifications. Added to this is support for legacy 4G, 3G and 2G networks.

This broad range of functionalities should help Intel make its new 5G modem look more enticing for manufacturers, especially given the fact that the company is currently playing catch-up with the rest of the market.

More specifically, The Verge notes that another 18 manufacturers already have their 5G modems in the hands of OEMs and plan to bring their respective offerings to the market in the coming months.

With 5G coming to greater prominence now, hopefully consumers can soon reap the benefit that the broadband technology promises.

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.