Apple is expected to move to its own 5G modems as soon as 2024 based on Qualcomm’s comments.
Apple will use its own 5G modems in the 2024 iPhone 16, according to the company that builds the modems Apple currently uses.
Apple has long been working to try and produce its own 5G modems but continues to hit technical difficulties. It’s been forced to use Qualcomm’s modems as a result, but now the company’s own CEO doesn’t expect that to last for long.
Speaking in an interview with The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon said that he expects Apple to use its own modem in 2024. But he was quick to suggest that his company is ready and waiting should it be needed. “If they need ours they know where to find us,” Amon said according to a tweet by analyst Carolina Milanesi.
The timing is interesting because analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also tweeted that it isn’t yet clear whether Apple will ship the iPhone 16 with an in-house modem. Kuo added that Apple still has some challenges relating to mmWave and satellite communications that it needs to overcome. If it doesn’t, it seems likely that Qualcomm will once again be involved.
Kuo has however suggested that an updated iPhone SE could ship with Apple’s own modem, although he stopped short of saying exactly when that would happen.
Apple’s desire to use its own modems follows similar moves which saw it ditch Intel CPUs throughout its Mac lineup. The company prefers to control as much as it can, including the components that go into its devices.