Apple is on its way to becoming completely self-sufficient, at least for innards of the iPhone models. After a major fallout with Qualcomm, Apple has been developing chipsets in-house for a while now. From the looks of it, Apple won’t be relying on Qualcomm 5G modems, at least for the 2023 iPhone series.
Apple 5G Modem In Development
5G support on iPhone appeared with the latest iPhone 12 series and we can expect the support to continue on all iPhone models going forward. Apple has also introduced 5G support for its latest iPad Pro series. A new tip from popular Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, notes that this is Apple’s first attempt at developing a 5G modem that would be commercially available in 2023.
Previous reports suggested the Apple 5G modem launch could take place in 2022 but there could be delays, pushing the launch to 2023. Further, the launch details sync with another report by Barclays, who also notes the launch of the Apple 5G modem in 2023.
Apple 5G Modem Launch Ends Qualcomm Reliance
Apple and Qualcomm have had one of the meanest lawsuit disputes in the tech world. Apple’s dispute with Qualcomm over a patent design eventually broke ties with the chipmaker, leaving Apple to switch to Intel modems from 2018. On the other hand, Intel was struggling on its own and ended up selling the modem segment to Apple in 2019.
Presently, Qualcomm is supplying 5G modems to Apple, where the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G modems are found on the iPhone 12 series. Moreover, Apple has also placed an order for 5G modems for iPhone 2022 and iPhone 2023 series. At this point, this order looks like a backup plan, in case Apple isn’t able to make the 5G modems on time.
The Apple 5G modem is tipped to be quite similar to the Qualcomm 5G modem offering support for both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G networks. If Apple succeeds in developing and commercially manufacturing 5G modems, it would be a major setback to Qualcomm. If that’s the case, Qualcomm could work on more affordable 5G chipsets and modems for mid-range and affordable smartphones, which seems to be the future of the industry.