Qualcomm Unveils 5G Snapdragon X70 Modem That May Appear in 2023 iPhones

Qualcomm has unveiled its new 5G Snapdragon X70 modem, which is likely to be the last Qualcomm modem to be used by Apple in its iPhones before it switches to in-house custom-designed chips.

qualcomm snapdragon x70
Qualcomm says its latest 5G modem for smartphones includes "the world's first 5G AI processor integrated in a 5G Modem-RF System," which is supposed to increase the average download and uplink speeds on mmWave and sub-6GHz bands. From the company's press release:

Snapdragon X70 inherits the unrivaled 10 Gigabit 5G peak download speed of its predecessor and packs in new, advanced capabilities such as Qualcomm 5G AI Suite, Qualcomm 5G Ultra-Low Latency Suite and 4X carrier aggregation to achieve unmatched 5G speeds, coverage, signal quality and low latency. The Qualcomm 5G Ultra-Low Latency Suite in Snapdragon X70 allows OEMs and operators to minimize latency for hyper-responsive 5G user experiences and applications.

"Our 5th generation modem-RF system extends our global 5G leadership and the introduction of native 5G AI processing creates a platform and inflection point for performance-enhancing innovations," said Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager, 5G, Mobile Broadband and Infrastructure, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "Snapdragon X70 is an example of how we're realizing the full potential of 5G and making an intelligently connected world possible."

According to the company, the Snapdragon X70 can reach up to 10Gbps downlink speed and a peak 3.5Gbps upload speed, and yet it is up to 60% more power efficient, due to its 5G PowerSave Gen 3 technology. The modem also includes support for global 5G multi-SIM and Dual-SIM Dual Active.

The Snapdragon X70 modem is expected to launch in 5G devices by the end of this year, although that doesn't necessarily mean it will appear in the iPhone 14, or indeed any future iPhone.

In a 2020 agreement to dismiss a long-running legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm, a settlement filing revealed that Apple has committed to using X65 and X70 modems in products launched between June 1, 2022 and May 31, 2024, which would seem to suggest the X65 will be used in the ‌iPhone 14‌, while the just-announced X70 modem will be in Apple's 2023 ‌iPhone‌ series.

However, other reports have suggested Apple will have its own custom-designed 5G modem ready for use in 2023 iPhone models, so it's not entirely clear where the X70 fits in. Apple could end up using its own chips in most regions, and rely on Qualcomm for X70 chips in certain areas (or certain models), which could explain why Qualcomm says it is expecting to supply just 20% of Apple's ‌iPhone‌ modems in 2023. When Apple's agreement with Qualcomm ends, Apple will switch to its own custom-designed cellular modem for all future devices.

Rumors in early 2019 suggested that Apple was planning to design a modem in-house, and in mid-2019, Apple purchased the majority of Intel's smartphone modem business to accelerate its own development efforts. Apple took over Intel's modem-related intellectual property and hired 2,200 Intel employees, and it has already lined up its main chip manufacturing partner TSMC to begin producing the majority of its new in-house modem chips.

Tags: Qualcomm, 5G

Top Rated Comments

DBZmusicboy01 Avatar
12 weeks ago
5G is a MAJOR letdown in Suburban and Rural areas :/
Even in the Cities it struggles in certain spots. It's EXTREMELY limited. 5G in many ways is a step backwards from LTE.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jim Lahey Avatar
12 weeks ago
I still don’t see any need for this sort of thing unless you spend all day on Speedtest.net. To be fair I get that other people will use their phone differently than myself, but are these insane speeds really worth the abominated, battleship grey eyesores that are being erected on every other street corner in every other town and city? Personally I don’t think so, but others will disagree.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ksec Avatar
12 weeks ago

Why would a 5G chip need AI?
Auto tuning between different frequency and signals.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ksec Avatar
12 weeks ago
I thought Apple were suppose to have its own modem by 2021 / 2022 and 2023....

So is it 2024 now ?

/s


which could explain why Qualcomm says it is expecting to supply just 20% ('https://www.macrumors.com/2021/11/16/qualcomm-2023-modem-chips-iphone/')
That was not what Qualcomm said, it was a forecast. Not expectation.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bigfatipod Avatar
12 weeks ago

Auto tuning between different frequency and signals.
I’m not sure why AI would used vs traditional code. It seems like marketing more than anything.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
velocityg4 Avatar
12 weeks ago

Are people supposed to get excited about a 10Gbit network for their PHONE?

To download a 100KB instagram pic 10x faster within 0.00001 seconds instead of 0.0001 seconds?
Peak speed is really a horrible metric for cell services. Beyond 50mbps. You aren't likely to notice a difference on a mobile phone or tablet. Assuming true and reliable 50mbps.

I'm more interested in
- What's the performance at 1-2 bars in comparison to the current system?
- What's the performance during peak usage hours?
- Does it offer better range from towers?
- Does it penetrate buildings better?

That's where people have their issues. Not how fast the phone is at 5M from the tower when they are the only person connected.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

qualcomm snapdragon x65

Qualcomm CEO Outlines Plans to Compete With Apple Silicon, Handle Apple's Shift to In-House Modems

Friday July 2, 2021 8:40 am PDT by
Qualcomm Chief Executive Cristiano Amon believes that Qualcomm will provide laptop chips that can compete with Apple silicon by next year and has explained how the company views Apple's expected transition to its own custom modems. Speaking to Reuters, Amon said that Qualcomm is capable of having the best chip on the market, thanks to a team of chip architects who previously worked for Apple ...
ATT new 2016 logo featured

AT&T Planning Expansion of 5G mmWave to Additional U.S. Airports By the End of 2021

Thursday July 15, 2021 12:58 am PDT by
AT&T is planning to bring its 5G mmWave technology to additional airports in the United States by the end of 2021, offering customers access to its "AT&T 5G+" service with faster speeds and lower latency. In a press release, AT&T says that by the end of 2021, it will have expanded its 5G mmWave technology, which requires more advanced infrastructure compared to typical sub-6GHz 5G, to an...
the new imac g4 feature

iMac G4 With Revolutionary Floating Display Announced 20 Years Ago Today

Friday January 7, 2022 8:55 am PST by
Today marks the 20th anniversary of Apple announcing the iMac G4. Unveiled on January 7, 2002, the iMac G4 featured a unique design with a flat-screen panel mounted on an adjustable arm and a hemisphere base housing the computer's internal components. Nicknamed the Lamp or Sunflower, the iMac G4 was innovative for its time as an all-in-one computer with a flat screen that can be moved around ...
iphone 3g

UK to Shut Down 2G and 3G Networks by 2033

Wednesday December 8, 2021 6:57 am PST by
The United Kingdom will phase out and turn off its 2G and 3G networks by 2033, the British government today announced (via TechRadar). BT already committed to ending its 3G service by 2023, but now all major carriers in the UK are in agreement to retire 2G and 3G over the next decade. The networks are due to be switched off as part of plans to accelerate the roll out of 5G across the...
iphone 12 5g

iPhone 14 Could Have Better Battery Life Thanks to New 5G Chip

Tuesday February 22, 2022 5:25 am PST by
The iPhone 14 could offer better battery life and feature Wi-Fi 6E connectivity thanks to a new 5G chip, supply chain sources claim. Taiwan's Economic Daily News reports that TSMC has obtained all of Apple's orders for its 5G radio frequency (RF) chips for the iPhone 14 lineup, taking over from Samsung. The chips, likely related to Apple's selection of Qualcomm's Snapdragon X65 modem, are...
Apple 5G Modem Feature Triad

Qualcomm Expecting to Supply Just 20% of 2023 iPhone Modems As Apple Prepares to Launch Its Own Chips

Tuesday November 16, 2021 9:18 am PST by
Qualcomm is preparing for the launch of Apple's own modem chips, which will cut into Qualcomm's modem business starting in 2023. At today's Investor Day event, Qualcomm CFO Akash Palkhiwala said that Qualcomm expects to supply just 20 percent of Apple's modem chips in 2023. If that's an accurate estimate, it means that 2022 will be the last year that Qualcomm enjoys a modem monopoly in...
Apple 5G Modem Feature

Apple Diversifies Supply Chain for Custom-Designed 5G Modem for iPhones in 2023

Wednesday February 23, 2022 2:18 am PST by
Apple is in preliminary talks with new suppliers about backend orders for its first in-house 5G modem chips for iPhones, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple is reportedly negotiating with ASE Technology, which owns Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) and Siliconware Precision Industries (SPIL), to package some of its first self-designed 5G modem chips. The report notes...
tmobilelogo

T-Mobile's 'Ultra Capacity' 5G Now Covers 200 Million People

Monday November 15, 2021 3:33 pm PST by
T-Mobile today announced that its high-speed "Ultra Capacity 5G" is now available to 200 million people across the United States, with the carrier hitting the milestone weeks ahead of schedule. Ultra Capacity 5G is T-Mobile's higher-speed 5G network that's faster than the Extended Range 5G network that covers 308 million T-Mobile customers. While Extended Range 5G offers LTE-like speeds,...

Popular Stories

iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...
2022 Apple Watch Pride Edition Bands

Apple Announces 2022 Pride Edition Watch Bands and Watch Face

Tuesday May 24, 2022 6:24 am PDT by
Apple today announced new Pride bands for the Apple Watch, with new Pride Edition Sport Loop and Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop options available. The new Pride Edition bands are available to order today for $49 on Apple.com and in the Apple Store app, and will be available at Apple Store locations starting May 26. The Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop is also coming soon to Nike.com. This...