iPhone 13 Lineup Expected to Use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 Modem With Several 5G Improvements

Apple's next-generation iPhone 13 lineup will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 5G modem, with Samsung to handle manufacturing of the chip, according to DigiTimes.

qualcomm snapdragon x60 5g
Built on a 5nm process, the X60 packs higher power efficiency into a smaller footprint compared to the 7nm-based Snapdragon X55 modem used in iPhone 12 models, which could contribute to longer battery life. With the X60 modem, iPhone 13 models would also be able to aggregate 5G data from both mmWave and sub-6GHz bands simultaneously to achieve an optimal combination of high-speed and low-latency network coverage.

mmWave is a set of 5G frequencies that promise ultra-fast speeds at short distances, making it best suited for dense urban areas. By comparison, sub-6GHz 5G is generally slower than mmWave, but the signals travel further, better serving suburban and rural areas. mmWave support on iPhone 12 models is limited to the United States, but rumors suggest that iPhone 13 models may support mmWave in additional countries.

In 2019, Apple and Qualcomm settled a legal battle and reached a multiyear chipset supply agreement, paving the way for Apple to use Qualcomm's 5G modems. A court document from the settlement revealed that Apple would likely use the X60 modem for 2021 iPhones, followed by the recently announced Snapdragon X65 modem in 2022 iPhones.

The X65 is the world's first 10 Gigabit 5G modem and antenna system for smartphones, enabling theoretical data speeds up to 10 gigabits per second. While real-world download speeds will certainly be slower than that, the X65 has many other benefits, including improved power efficiency, enhanced coverage for both mmWave and sub-6 GHz bands, and support for all global commercialized mmWave frequencies.

Starting in 2023, Apple is expected to start using its own in-house 5G modems for iPhones.

Related Roundup: iPhone 13
Buyer's Guide: iPhone 13 (Caution)
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

qoop Avatar
16 months ago
Will phone calls still sound like you're in the 1950s?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alj96z Avatar
16 months ago

I don't know if it is the modem in my iPhone 12 Pro Max or the cell towers in the Indianapolis area but so far I am underwhelmed by 5G performance. I have run Internet speed tests when I am connected to 5G with 4 bars showing for my signal strength and I am getting speeds about 1/2 the speed of what I normally get with 4G. It was back in December when I ran those tests in several locations around the South side of Indy so hopefully the speed has improved since then.
It’s not the modem, it’s your carrier. It sounds like you probably have Verizon. Their only true 5G is their UWB network which is very sparse, their nationwide 5G is just sharing spectrum with their LTE network. AT&T is pretty much the same story. The only carrier that’s serious about widespread, dedicated 5G, is t-mobile. As LTE gets phased out at AT&T and Verizon in the coming years, expect those frequencies to be freed up for dedicated 5G and speeds to improve.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jntdroid Avatar
16 months ago

honestly that's an interesting point. i don't know much about the tech behind the phone calls themselves but i find it funny that audio quality hasn't gotten better by much (if at all).

on the other hand, i do from time to time stick with facetime audio since it has significantly better quality.
Y'all must not have HD Voice on your carrier then? It's like going from AM to FM/HD radio.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rychiar Avatar
16 months ago
the high speeds of 5g are completely unnecessary in a phone as far as I can tell... what I want is RELIABILITY. no matter the improvements I still get 2 bars of crap service at home. I can barely send a photo to anyone I'm not wifi texting ie all android people
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cosmosent Avatar
16 months ago
The improvements are NON-trivial, making this the one to get !
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bobenhaus Avatar
16 months ago
Samsung and Qualcomm is doing great things for Apple.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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