2023 iPhone 15 will continue to use Qualcomm’s 5G modem | Cult of Mac

2023 iPhone 15 will continue to use Qualcomm’s 5G modem

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Qualcomm patents
Qualcomm is a vital supplier for Apple until the latter's in-house 5G modem is ready.
Photo: Qualcomm

Apple’s plans of using its in-house modem starting from the iPhone 15 in 2023 are unlikely to pan out. Qualcomm will continue to supply the Cupertino company with the “vast majority” of iPhone modems next year.

The San Diego chipmaker expects Apple to shift to its in-house modem by 2024 at the earliest. It had previously expected to supply the iPhone maker with only 20% of modem chips in 2023.

Apple’s in-house 5G modem is not coming next year

In its latest quarterly earnings call, Qualcomm noted that it expects to supply modems for the “vast majority” of 2023 iPhones, reports Bloomberg. Things may change the following year, but the company should remain the sole supplier of the modem used inside the iPhone 15.

Apple has reportedly already sunk more than a billion dollars in building its own 5G modem for the iPhone. It acquired Intel’s modem business for $1 billion in 2019 to kick-start the process. Since then, it has hired engineers at its Irvine, California office to make 5G modems and other wireless chips for its future devices.

Apple’s efforts at developing its 5G modem have bombed so far

A recent report indicates that Apple’s in-house efforts to make its 5G modem have not been successful. All prototypes have run into overheating issues. Due to this, the company will rely on Qualcomm for modem requirements for the foreseeable future. And the latter only expects Apple to move to its self-developed modem in 2024.

Apple fast-tracked the development of its in-house modem after its beef with Qualcomm in 2017 over royalties and patent infringement. After a couple of years of back and forth, the two companies dropped all litigation against each other in 2019. They also signed a six-year license agreement with an option to extend it by another two years. Apple also had to make a one-time payment to Qualcomm to settle the matter.

The Cupertino giant does not like to rely on one company for a critical component of its devices. And given its beef with Qualcomm, Apple is unlikely to give up on its in-house efforts to develop a 5G modem.

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