Apple Australia

According to the rumor mill, Apple is planning on launching its first 5G iPhone in 2020. And while that effort may still be in the works, the company has received a pretty big blow as one executive leading the charge departs.

According to a report from The Information on Monday, Rubén Caballero, an executive at Apple in charge of working with suppliers on modem hardware, has departed the company. Caballero joined Apple back in 2005 and has been with the company since. His name has been attached to hundreds of patents from the company over the years, all related to wireless technologies.

Caballero is said to have led Apple’s “charge into 5G”, according to an unnamed source speaking to the publication. At the time of publication, his email address associated with Apple is no longer active, and his name does not appear within Apple’s internal directory, either. All lending credence to the report that he has departed the company after over a decade.

At this point, there is no explanation as to why Caballero left Apple. However, there has been no shortage of restructuring within this department. Back in February, for instance, Johny Srouji was put in charge of modem engineering.

At this point, expectations are that Apple will be tapping both Qualcomm and Samsung to handle 5G modem duties for future iPhones. And, as mentioned above, Apple is rumored to release its first 5G iPhone before the end of 2020.

Our Take

How this impacts Apple really comes down to the details we don’t know. If Apple’s own shuffling of its chip teams and leaders caused the departure, then Apple probably wasn’t too surprised by it. But if Caballero’s decision came out of the blue, this could definitely be a major setback for Apple as it develops the first 5G iPhones.

[via The Information]