Apple’s transition from using Qualcomm modems to its own 5G designs could roll out as soon as the next couple of years, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests, in a research note seen by Cult of Mac.
Qualcomm unveiled a 5G modem that potentially could increase the network speed of future iPhones. The new Snapdragon X65 promises 10 gigabit per second connections, as well as reduced battery drain.
In its announcement Tuesday, the chip maker didn’t specifically say the modem is headed for Apple products, but the iPhone 12 uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 modem for 5G. And the two companies have a multiyear chipset supply agreement.
Apple has started building its own cellular modems for use in future devices. Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technologies, made the announcement to employees Thursday during a virtual town hall meeting.
The company currently relies on Qualcomm modems, after restoring its relationship with the company following a prolonged clash over patents and royalties. However, Apple has made no bones about its desire to bring this part of its manufacturing in-house. It even bought Intel’s modem business for $1 billion in 2019, the second-largest acquisition in Apple history.
Following a two-year legal tussle over patents and royalties, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said Thursday the chipmaker’s dealings with Apple have greatly improved and phrased the relationship as one of two “good partners.”
Chipmaker Qualcomm said Wednesday it expects the smartphone industry to ship 30% fewer mobile phones in the second quarter as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but predicted the demand for 5G smartphones will accelerate from the second half of 2020 into the new year.
As a provider of modem chips to Apple, the predictions give further evidence that the Cupertino-based high-tech giant is on track to release it’s first 5G-ready iPhone lineup later this year simply based on Qualcomm’s estimates of product demand.
Qualcomm has announced its new Snapdragon X60 5G modem, its third-gen 5G chip which offers improvements over its Snapdragon X55 and X50 predecessors.
While there is no confirmation that this is the case, this could very well be the modem chip that is used in the forthcoming generation of 5G iPhones. Apple patched up its rocky relationship with Qualcomm last year over the company’s 5G technology.
Qualcomm’s 5G antenna design isn’t up to par with Apple’s design standards, reveals a new report that claims Apple is building its own antenna for this year’s 5G iPhones.
Fast Company claims Apple has decided to do the design work itself on the 5G antenna but it will still use Qualcomm’s 5G modem chip. If true, Apple would be adding an extra level of difficulty for churning out a reliable 5G iPhone during one of its most anticipated upgrade cycles in years.
Apple might be in the market to acquire the radio-frequency chip division from one of its biggest parts suppliers.
The Wall Street Journal reported today that Broadcom Inc is working with Credit Suisse to find a possible buyer of its RF wireless-chip unit in an effort to diversify its business and move more toward software. Although the names of companies potentially interested in the division haven’t been named, Apple observers are quickly pointing out that the iPhone-maker scooping it up makes the most sense.