Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Is Apple’s 5G modem delayed again? iPhones will continue to use Qualcomm chips until 2026

For years now, Apple working on its own 5G modem for the iPhone. However, the project is extremely complex for those from Cupertino, who cannot move forward with the long-awaited plan to make its development independent. And new proof of this is that Qualcomm announced that it will continue to provide them with this component at least until 2026.

This was indicated by the San Diego chipper in a brief statement released this Monday. In it, Qualcomm mentioned that the agreement with Apple will be to provide the 5G modem for iPhones from 2024, 2025 and 2026. “This reinforces Qualcomm’s history of sustained leadership in 5G technologies and products,” said the firm led by Cristiano Amon.

Be careful, that Qualcomm and Apple extend their relationship for at least 3 more years does not necessarily mean that the 5G modem developed by those from Cupertino will debut in 2027. Those from Apple could begin to gradually implement it in their devices before 2026, but it is a fact that They will not achieve independence in the provision of this chip until after that date.

This is no small matter. Let us remember that in November 2022, Qualcomm stated that, contrary to the forecasts of the time, the iPhone 15 would not implement the 5G modem developed by Apple. In 2023, the company expected to supply no more than 20% of the component in question; but the story changed due to delays in Apple hardware.

At that time, those in San Diego said that Only in fiscal year 2025 would they see minimal revenue from Apple, its main client. However, the agreement announced today confirms that the alliance will extend for a while longer.

Apple still wouldn’t hit the mark with its 5G modem for the iPhone

For now, the reasons for the extension of the agreement between Qualcomm and Apple have not been specified. But if the above serves as a reference, it is logical to think that the development of its own 5G modem for the iPhone has been delayed again.

Tim Cook’s team launched this project more than 4 years ago, but they ran into problems that hindered its development. Apple’s idea was that its 5G modem would debut in 2022 on the iPhone 14, but that did not happen. Then it was said that it would arrive this year with the iPhone 15, but, as we already explained, Qualcomm ruled it out several months ago.

Why hasn’t Apple yet been able to finalize its 5G modem for the iPhone? The official data is null, but in recent years several alleged causes have been leaked. At first there was talk of autonomy problems, since the chip drained the mobile phone’s battery; although bureaucratic setbacks were also mentioned when certifying it in different parts of the world. Last year, meanwhile, it was said that prototypes were overheating, and that this was also delaying TSMC’s manufacturing plans.

With these data in consideration, the appearance on the scene of a 5G modem for the iPhone developed by Apple was not expected before 2024. But that was the optimistic view.. A few days ago, Ming-Chi Kuo stated that Apple expected to begin implementing its cellular chip only in 2025.

This last piece of information could be quite accurate. According to the information he revealed today to his investors, Qualcomm assumes it will maintain at least 20% of the supply of 5G modems for the iPhone in 2026. As long as Apple’s hardware is finished on time and doesn’t suffer delays again, of course.

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