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Rumor | iPhones will switch to Apple-made 5G modems as early as 2023

iPhones with "5G by Apple" might become a thing soon. (Source: Apple)
iPhones with "5G by Apple" might become a thing soon. (Source: Apple)
The respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reportedly noted that Apple plans to make iPhones with in-house 5G modem SoCs in the next few years. This would be a considerable blow to Qualcomm, the Cupertino giant's current source of chipsets necessary for up-to-date connectivity. It might mean the chip-maker would lose more of a grip on the 5G market.
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The widely-acknowledged market analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reportedly issued a new research note indicating that Apple may have started, or is about to start, to make its own next-gen modems. This 5G-specific counterpart of the M1 chipset is apparently intended for iPhones that might launch as early as 2023.

Currently, the latest iPhones - even the new 12 series - access their 5G networks via external modems connected to their Axx Bionic processors, in the way most Android phones did prior to 2021. Apple is thus dependent on a supply of these modems from a third party - Qualcomm, in this case - for this slightly old-fashioned way of enabling next-gen mobile data.

Furthermore, the iPhones 12 are stuck with the slightly outdated Snapdragon X55 modem, whereas the prospect of an X65 for the 13 series is a mere rumor at this stage. Therefore, it makes sense for Apple to at least aspire to first-party 5G modems for the iPhones '15' (or newer).

Conversely, the idea is a potential catastrophe for Qualcomm, a company that may already be losing the battle for 5G market dominance to MediaTek. Losing Apple as a customer could be the final nail in that coffin - then again, this risk might be managed by an increasingly strong range of mid- to low-end 5G-enabled Snapdragon processors.

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Deirdre O'Donnell
Deirdre O'Donnell - Senior Tech Writer - 3834 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 05 > iPhones will switch to Apple-made 5G modems as early as 2023
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-05-10 (Update: 2021-05-10)