Apple might ditch Qualcomm for in-house 5G modem on iPhone 17

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  • Apple could allegedly shift to their in-house 5G modems
  • The company has been planning to ditch Qualcomm’s 5G modems for the 2 years
  • This change could happen first on the iPhone 17 series

Qualcomm has been the driving force in the mobile chip business but the company has had a challenging year, with a significant 52% drop in net income compared to the previous year. Unfortunately, recent developments aren’t going to ease the situation. Now, Apple seems to be transitioning to its in-house modems within the next two years, reducing its reliance on Qualcomm’s chips.

According to insights from supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is actively working toward making its own 5G modem chips by 2025. This timeline suggests that the iPhone 15 and 16 will likely continue to utilize Qualcomm chips, while the iPhone 17 could incorporate Apple’s proprietary modem technology.

Apple working on 5G modems

It’s no secret that Apple had long-term plans to shift to its custom modems. Furthering this goal, the tech giant acquired a significant portion of Intel’s smartphone modem business back in 2019.

Qualcomm 5G

Kuo had previously indicated that the iPhone SE 4 would initially feature an Apple-designed 5G modem. This may still hold true, as reports suggest that the fourth-generation SE’s release could be postponed until 2025.

However, the timing of this transition hinges on Apple’s ability to overcome its development challenges. Initially, the switch was pegged to happen in 2023, but it appears that the company pushed those plans to a later date.

In June, Kuo stated, “My latest survey indicates that Apple’s own iPhone 5G modem chip development may have failed, so Qualcomm will remain the exclusive supplier for 5G chips of 2H23 new iPhones.”

As of now, the specifics of Apple’s custom modems and the deployment plans remain unknown. But this might change in the near future as we inch closer to the launch timelines.

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