Qualcomm Introduces Snapdragon X60, Smaller 5G Modem Suitable for 2021 iPhones

Qualcomm this week introduced the Snapdragon X60, its third-generation 5G modem for mobile devices. The company says the first 5G smartphones featuring the X60 are expected to launch early next year.

qualcomm snapdragon x60 5g
Built on a 5nm process, the X60 packs higher power efficiency into a smaller footprint compared to its 7nm-based predecessor, the Snapdragon X55. In the context of an iPhone, this could allow for longer battery life and more room inside the device for a larger battery or additional components.

Smartphones with the X60 will also be able to aggregate data from both mmWave and sub-6GHz bands simultaneously to achieve an optimal combination of high-speed and low-latency network coverage.


Multiple reports have indicated that Apple plans to use the Snapdragon X55 in its first 5G iPhone models, widely expected to be released later this year. The new X60 modem would be suitable for 2021 iPhones, but beyond that, it has been reported that Apple is developing its own modem for use in iPhones by 2022 or 2023.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12
Buyer's Guide: iPhone 12 (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

I7guy Avatar
13 months ago
Guess I’m holding off the upgrade for another year. (or two)
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gigapocket1 Avatar
13 months ago
But also. It’s kinda like. Upgrading this year gets back on the Qualcomm modems. Which as we know are superior than the intel counterparts in every way possible
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
swm Avatar
13 months ago
hmmm. we live in an age when "solutions" predate problems.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ph001bi Avatar
13 months ago

Guess I’m holding off the upgrade for another year. (or two)
You beat me to that comment.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ab2c4 Avatar
13 months ago
All the more reason I plan on getting an 11 Pro in the next few months. 5g hardware just isn't good enough at this point so there isn't any reason to wait for the 12 Pro. Plus good/reliable 5g signal from the carriers is still a few years away at best (at least where I live).
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
techwhiz Avatar
13 months ago

And just what are you blaming your dismal forecast on??

Apple, last I checked, has no less than 6 chips that are designed in-house.
The A-series took the longest to transition... I believe they 1st started heavily tweaking the reference designs around A4 in 2010.
However, they have done an amazing job (both with quality & aggressive timeframes) w/ completely “from scratch” designs. The S-series in the watch has had 6 iterations since its introduction in 2014. The T-series security chip has had 2 designs since 2016. The W-series for AirPod/Beats has had 3 designs since 2016. Lastly, both the H-1 & U-1 debuted just this last year.
All these chips have been lauded.
Apple CLEARLY has one of the top chip design teams in the world.
I feel like your 2 year “best-case scenario” guess presupposes that they literally began working on 5G only after finalizing the Intel deal... for all we know, they were a year away from their own solution when they closed w/ Intel, & that cut their expected final design to 6 months.

I also have a gut feeling that we’ll see these Apple 5G modems 1st in the September, 2021 phones... however, I feel that it’s within the realm of possibility we’ll see something this year. To whit; an interesting article was posted here that the iPad Pro would be rolling out in 2 waves- wifi 1st, then 5G a few months later. It would be exciting to see the 1st Apple modem included there (less volume would help, as well), & would explain the oddity
Actually that's not a dismal schedule.
I don't care what Apple has done in the past.
They weren't a year away.
They had put their eggs in the Intel basket for LTE and 5G.
So yes, its a start from scratch effort.
If it was not then they would not have signed a 6 year deal with Qualcomm with a two year extension option.

They haven't ever done LTE and to think that somehow they are less than two years away from a solution that does 4GLTE and 5G is a pipe dream. I work in chip development.
Even after they get a chip it will take 6-9 months of testing and certification before being approved to work on the various carriers.
You don't just make a cellular modem and put it in a phone without certification.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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