According to a new DigiTimes report, Apple will debut its rumored 5G modem inside the 2023 iPhone lineup, The same report suggests that the Cupertino tech giant does not plan to integrate the 5G modem into the A-series chip that will power the device.
Apple’s in-house 5G modem to launch with 2023 iPhones
In a paywalled report, sources told DigiTimes that 2022 will be the last year Qualcomm’s modems will be used inside an iPhone. From 2023 onwards, iPhones will start featuring 5G baseband modem chips designed in-house by Apple.
The 5G modem designed by Apple will be separated for its A-series chip, rumored to be called the “A17.” Apple is rumored to be working with TSMC, a company that supplies all of its custom silicon chips, to produce custom 5G modems for future iPhones.
At its investor day earlier this week, Qualcomm said that it expects to supply 20% of Apple’s modems in 2023, likely representing the older or lower-end iPhones and some iPads in addition to devices made for regions where the component is not supported. This suggests that the remaining 80% of devices would consist of Apple’s in-house designed modems.
Apple’s work on its in-house designed modem components is believed to be a result of its acquisition of a majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business in 2019. Which in turn will help the company move away from using Qualcomm modems in its products in the future.
The report lines up with what TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote in a note to investors back in May. Kuo claimed that Apple is eager to move to its own custom 5G baseband chip. “We predict that the iPhone will adopt Apple’s own design 5G baseband chips in 2023 at the earliest. As Android sales in the high-end 5G phone market are sluggish, Qualcomm will be forced to compete for more orders in the low-end market to compensate for Apple’s order loss” Kuo said.