Apple arrived late to the 5G “party”, launching only in 2020 its first models equipped with new generation connectivity technology. However, it seems that the company’s plans are quite big for the future, and in just a few years it will eliminate the dependence on partners such as Qualcomm, which currently supplies 5G chips from the iPhone 12 and iPad Pro. However, the development and research process is slow, and the first iPhones with Apple modem could appear only in 2023.
Apple will make the switch to proprietary 5G modem on iPhone models
Ming-Chi Kuo, a TF Securities analyst specializing in Apple’s operations, has released a new investor report saying the company’s plans are to launch the first 5G proprietary modems as early as 2023. This move would allow Apple to produces iPhones with 5G at lower prices, which could mean cheaper phones, or higher profits. In either case, Apple will win.
“The predictions are that the iPhone will adopt its own 5G modem in 2023 at the earliest. While sales of high-end 5G phones are slow, Qualcomm will be forced to compete for more orders in the low-end market to make up for the lack of orders from Apple. When stock issues are resolved, MediaTek and Qualcomm will have less bargaining power over brands, which will put competitive pressure on the mid and low market, ”Kuo said.
The company is developing 5G technologies after buying the modem division from Intel
The reason why Apple launched 5G phones so late, while other manufacturers have been offering such devices for two or three years now, was a complex one. First, Apple refused to pay licenses for certain Qualcomm technologies, which it considered abusive. This led to the conclusion of business partnerships between the two companies. As an alternative, Apple has chosen Intel as a supplier of 4G modems, in the hope that Intel will also develop 5G modems.
When Intel’s 5G project failed, Apple had no choice but to give in to the fight with Qualcomm, pay the outstanding licenses and enter into a partnership with the US manufacturer for 4G and 5G modems. At the same time, Apple bought the Intel research division that deals with modems in 2019. Since then, it is rumored that Apple is working on its own connectivity solutions, which is often confirmed by the commitments that the company has made.
In fact, it is in Apple’s nature to make as many components as possible internally. From processors to graphics chips, Apple has chosen to cut ties with older partners in favor of proprietary solutions. The 5G modem will be just another component that it will produce, but the development of these solutions is long and expensive.
Robert J. Smith is still early into his career as tech reporter but has already had his work published in many major publications including JoyStiq and Android Authority. In regards to academics, Robert earned a degree in business from Fordham University. Robert has passion for emerging technology and covers upcoming products and breakthroughs in science and tech.