Qualcomm CEO says Apple's 5G cellular modem will be ready by 2024

Qualcomm CEO says Apple’s custom 5G cellular modem will be ready by 2024


Qualcomm says Apple's cellular modem could be ready in 2024.
Photo: Qualcomm

Quaclomm CEO Cristiano Amon says he thinks Apple’s in-house modem could be ready in 2024, presumably for use inside the iPhone 16 series. The CEO’s comments came Monday during an interview on the show floor at MWC 2023, a massive tech trade show in Barcelona, Spain.

Apple 5G modem coming in 2024?

Apple has been working on building its own custom cellular modem for the last few years. The company typically likes to utilize multiple suppliers for key iPhone components. Currently, Apple relies on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon modem, which allows iPhones and iPads to connect to mobile networks.

Previously, Apple sourced modems from Intel as well. However, the latter could not develop its 5G modem quickly enough for Cupertino. This forced Apple to end its legal battle with Qualcomm and sign a multiyear license and chipset supply agreement with the company.

While this move benefitted Qualcomm, the chipmaker knows Apple will eventually switch to its own cellular modem. The company’s CEO expects this to happen in 2024, as revealed during his interview with The Wall Street Journal‘s Joanna Stern at MWC 2023.

Apple wants to make all important iPhone chips in-house

Amon’s comment corroborates a recent report that Apple wants to produce its first cellular modem by the end of 2024 or early 2025. If the company only finalizes its custom cellular modem by the end of next year, don’t expect it to appear inside the iPhone 16 series.

Apple typically finalizes components used inside iPhones months ahead of the smartphones’ public release.

Even after settling its legal disputes with Qualcomm, Apple never gave up on its modem ambitions. It acquired Intel’s modem business and has continued working on the chip despite hitting multiple roadblocks.

But Apple is not just looking to remove Qualcomm from its supply chain. The company is also developing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips, which it currently sources from Broadcom. This switch could happen in 2025.

By developing all critical iPhone chips in-house, Apple could achieve greater control over the phone’s features and efficiency. And if the transition to Apple silicon in Macs and iPads is anything to go by, it could be a highly successful move.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.