| Cult of Mac

Apple’s in-house 5G iPhone modem delayed once again


The iPhone 15 Series modem chip upgrade resulted in appropriately faster 5G downloads.
Apple will have to stick to Qualcomm's 5G modem for the foreseeable future.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple is falling further behind in creating an in-house modem for iPhones. After multiple delays, the company targeted a 2025 spring timeline to ship its first modem. But that’s not going to happen.

A new report signals that Apple has delayed the modem’s launch until the end of 2025 or early 2026.

Why an Apple-made 5G iPhone modem remains only a dream


An Apple 5G modem might look like this
Apple has poured billions into making its own 5G chip, and so far has nothing to show for it. Here's why.
Artists concept: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple’s five-year effort to make a 5G modem for the iPhone has so far accomplished little besides spending billions of dollars, according to a new report. The reasons for the failure are myriad but mostly come down to executives underestimating the complexity of the project.

That’s left iPhone-maker dependent on Qualcomm for modems, a company Apple has a very rocky relationship with.

iPhones will use Qualcomm’s 5G modem through 2026


Apple 5G modem chip
Apple is not giving up on Qualcomm modem for now.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple has renewed its agreement with Qualcomm to use its 5G modems until 2026. The current deal would have expired at the end of 2023.

The three-year deal signals Apple’s in-house modem is still far from ready. Qualcomm itself was expecting Apple to switch to its modem in 2024.

Apple’s custom 5G modem for iPhones to debut in 2025


Apple 5G modem chip
Apple is hard at work on its 5G modem.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

According to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s 5G modem will debut in 2025. The Cupertino giant has been working on its in-house modem for a few years now.

Qualcomm currently supplies Apple with 5G basebands for its entire product lineup. But the company knows Apple is developing its own cellular modem, and it will be ready sooner than later.

Apple strikes big deal with Broadcom for US-made 5G components


Apple struck a multibillion-dollar deal with Broadcom for 5G components made in the US.
Apple struck a multibillion-dollar deal with Broadcom for 5G components made in the US.
Photo: Brad Gibson/Cult of Mac

Apple said Tuesday it struck a “new multiyear, multibillion-dollar agreement” with technology manufacturer Broadcom to develop 5G radio frequency components in the United States.

“We’re thrilled to make commitments that harness the ingenuity, creativity and innovative spirit of American manufacturing,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook.

“All of Apple’s products depend on technology engineered and built here in the United States, and we’ll continue to deepen our investments in the U.S. economy because we have an unshakable belief in America’s future,” he added.

iPhone modem-maker gets ready for faster 5G Advanced in 2024


iPhone modem maker gets ready for faster 5G Advanced in 2024
The Qualcomm X75 modem will almost certainly appear in a future iPhone and add support for 5G Advanced.
Image: Qualcomm

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.

Apple’s custom 5G iPhone modem could finally launch in 2024


Apple 5G modem chip
Qualcomm is slowly but surely getting the boot.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple’s drawn-out effort to make its own 5G modem will reportedly begin to bear fruit in 2024. This will replace ones now sourced from Qualcomm.

And the iPhone-maker is also working to produce other wireless chips it currently gets from Broadcom.

Here’s proof that a MacBook with built-in 5G is way overdue


MacBook with built-in 5G is way overdue
There's no reason for Apple to drag its heels on a 5G MacBook
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

If you want a MacBook with 5G cellular wireless built into it, new data suggests you’re not alone. A surprising number of iPads are sold with integrated cellular connectivity. More than half, in fact.

Like tablets, today’s slim and lightweight MacBooks are ready to go anywhere. There’s no reason to force them to depend on Wi-Fi or an iPhone hotspot.

iPhone 14 Pro tops 5G speed tests in US, UK and Germany


iPhone 14 Pro models topped or placed highly for 5G speeds in many countries.
iPhone 14 Pro models topped or placed highly for 5G speeds in many countries.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

A new analysis of smartphone speeds in 10 countries shows iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are the fastest 5G mobile devices in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany.

Ookla’s study, released Monday, listed the top five fastest “popular” 5G devices by market share in each country. iPhone 14 and 13 series models appeared in many of the lists, but failed to place in some Asian markets.

Noting the performance variations by network and country, Ookla said the analysis “provides a snapshot of what you might typically expect.”

Apple begins adding 5G to iPhone in India next week


iPhone 5G
iPhone users in India don't have to wait much longer for 5G.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

5G service launched in India in October, but no iPhone supports the high-speed wireless networking standard… yet. Apple plans to change that in December.

And those who are part of the iOS beta program can get access even earlier.