Qualcomm, the chipmaker that supplies the 5G modems in all iPhones, on Wednesday unveiled the X75, its next-generation modem that will be the first to support 5G Advanced. This emerging cellular-wireless standard will give a speed boost to cellular-wireless networks and make mobile VR/AR more practical.
The X75 probably will be used in the iPhone 16 when it launches in 2024.
5G Advanced is about enabling mobile VR and AR
5G has been around for years — since before the iPhone 12 — but it’s still fairly early days for the cellular-wireless networking standard. Work on an improved version dubbed 5G Advanced is ongoing.
The upcoming version will offer consistently high data rates, but that’s only the start. The goal is for the network to prioritize data going to applications that need it, making new ones more practical.
“We envision that the radio access network will have more knowledge of the video and audio codecs used for XR [extended reality] applications, allowing the network to better prioritize scheduling and differentiate payloads with contextual information,” said Nokia’s Klaus Pedersen and Sari Nielsen in a blog post. “This will mean better end-user quality of experience and higher capacity.”
Qualcomm X75 is almost certainly headed for iPhone
The benefits coming from 5G Advanced aren’t expected before 2024. The full standard hasn’t even been approved yet. But Qualcomm isn’t waiting around. The X75 the chipmaker announced Wednesday is the first modem to support 5G Advanced.
Even before the new wireless standard comes online, Qualcomm also promises the modem will offer better cellular connectivity in elevators, subways, airports, parking garages and mobile gaming sessions. The chip will also use less power, and take up less room in the handset.
Although Apple and Qualcomm don’t always get along, every iPhone has a Qualcomm modem inside. So expect to see the X75 in an iOS device at some point.
The modem is scheduled to start appearing in shipping products in the second half of 2023, so theoretically it could be in the iPhone 15. That’s unlikely, though.
The iPhone 14 uses Qualcomm’s X65 and the next model will supposedly use the X70. The X75 will probably appear in the 2024 iPhone… about the same time that wireless carriers start rolling out 5G Advanced.