Kuo: Apple's Work on 5G Modem Chip 'Failed,' Qualcomm to Remain Supplier for 2023 iPhones

For the last several years, Apple has been working to develop its own 5G modem chip so that it won't need to rely on Qualcomm as a supplier, but according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple's efforts "may have failed."

Apple 5G Modem Feature Triad
Kuo says that his "latest survey" suggests that development on the chip has stalled, which means Qualcomm would remain the exclusive supplier for 5G chips for the 2023 iPhone models. Previously, Kuo believed that Apple's 2023 iPhones would use modem chips designed in-house rather than Qualcomm chips.


Qualcomm is now expected to supply 100 percent of chips for the 2023 ‌iPhone‌ models, rather than just 20 percent. Kuo expects that Apple will continue to develop its own 5G chips, but it will take more time for the work to be completed and satisfactory for use in iPhones and other devices.

It is not clear why Apple will not be able to have its modem chips ready in time for the 2023 ‌iPhone‌ launch, but the company has been aiming to get away from Qualcomm for years now. Apple had a protracted legal battle with Qualcomm and planned to use Intel 5G chips in the 2020 iPhones, but that ultimately was not possible as Intel was not able to manufacture 5G chips that met Apple's standards.

Apple ended up settling its lawsuit with Qualcomm in 2019, and since then, has used Qualcomm 5G modems in the ‌iPhone‌ and iPad lineups. Since then, Apple has been developing its own modem chip, and it even purchased Intel's modem chip business to get a head start, and rumors suggested Apple was on track for a 2023 launch. Last year, Qualcomm even said that it expected to supply just 20 percent of the modem chips used in iPhones in 2023, but it sounds like Qualcomm may be producing chips for Apple for at least another two ‌iPhone‌ generations.

Top Rated Comments

anson42 Avatar
14 weeks ago
Stalled/delayed vs failed are two different things...
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Premium1 Avatar
14 weeks ago
Not surprised. If it was easy to make, Intel would still be making them.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Analog Kid Avatar
14 weeks ago

"failed" + "it will take more time" = it's just delayed
Delayed+clickbait=failed
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spaceboi Scaphandre Avatar
14 weeks ago
I'm not the only one who's completely disinterested in 5G right?
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jav6454 Avatar
14 weeks ago
It wouldn't surprise me. A modem with key patents and tech locked is a hard endeavor.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JPack Avatar
14 weeks ago

"failed" + "it will take more time" = it's just delayed
Failed is when you don’t meet project timeline and deliverables.

If A16 wasn’t available in iPhone this September, it would be considered a project failure. If the U.S. didn’t reach the moon in 1969, it would be a failure as well.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole

Long-Rumored iPhone 15 Feature May Have Already Failed

Wednesday July 13, 2022 2:13 am PDT by
Apple's work on a custom 5G modem for the iPhone 15 may have already "failed," according to a recent report from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Taking cues from its work on Apple silicon, Apple was rumored to be working on a custom 5G modem to debut in all of the iPhone 15 models in 2023 for over a year. With the aim of moving away from Qualcomm, Apple is believed to have kickstarted the work...
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...
qualcomm snapdragon x70

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

Tuesday March 1, 2022 2:26 am PST by
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 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...
Apple 5G Modem Feature

Apple-Designed 5G Modem to Be Separate From A-Series Chip, Again Rumored to Debut in 2023 iPhones

Thursday November 18, 2021 4:13 am PST by
Apple will debut its rumored custom-designed 5G modem in 2023's iPhone models and the component will not be integrated into the device's A-series chip, DigiTimes reports. In paywalled report published earlier today, sources speaking to DigiTimes said that 2022 will be the last year when Qualcomm supplies all of the modems in iPhone models. Thereafter, iPhones are expected to begin featuring...
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...
iPhone 14 Pros in Hand Black Background Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Models Feature Qualcomm's X65 Modem for Faster 5G Speeds and Longer Battery Life

Friday September 16, 2022 5:36 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max feature Qualcomm's Snapdragon X65 modem for faster 5G speeds, lower power consumption, and improved mmWave support on U.S. models, according to a teardown of the devices shared on YouTube today. The X65 chip can be seen on the logic board in a teardown of the iPhone 14 Pro. We're still in the process of confirming whether the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14...
Apple 5G Modem Feature Triad

Apple Building Chip Team to Bring More Wireless Component Production In-House

Thursday December 16, 2021 10:30 am PST by
Apple is creating a new office that will focus on wireless chip production as the company works to bring more of its chip development in-house, reports Bloomberg. Apple is hiring a few dozen engineers for an office in Southern California to develop components that may eventually replace parts that are currently sourced from companies like Broadcom, Skyworks, and Qualcomm. The office is...
Apple 5G Modem Feature Triad

TSMC to Begin Producing Apple-Designed 5G Modems for iPhones in 2023

Tuesday November 23, 2021 7:37 pm PST by
Apple's main chip manufacturing partner TSMC will beginning producing Apple's first in-house 5G modem chips for the iPhone in 2023, according to a report from Nikkei Asia. The move, which has been under development for several years and enhanced by Apple's 2019 acquisition of the majority of Intel's modem business, will allow Apple to shift away from Qualcomm as a supplier for the important chips ...

Popular Stories

USB C Over Lightning Feature

EU Passes Law to Switch iPhone to USB-C by End of 2024

Tuesday October 4, 2022 3:30 am PDT by
The European Parliament today voted overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing USB-C as a common charging port across a wide range of consumer electronic devices, including the iPhone and AirPods, by the end of 2024. The proposal, known as a directive, forces all consumer electronics manufacturers who sell their products in Europe to ensure that a wide range of devices feature a USB-C port. This...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

10 New iOS 16 Features Coming Later This Year

Monday October 3, 2022 2:41 pm PDT by
iOS 16 was released to the public three weeks ago with a customizable Lock Screen, the ability to edit iMessages, improvements to Focus modes, and much more. And in the coming months, iPhone and iPad users have even more new features to look forward to. We've rounded up 10 new features coming to the iPhone and iPad later this year, according to Apple. Many of the features are part of iOS...
ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.0.3 With More Bug Fixes Following iPhone 14 Launch

Monday October 3, 2022 7:53 am PDT by
iOS 16.0.2 was released last month with several bug fixes for iPhone 14 issues, excessive copy and paste permission prompts, and more. Now, evidence suggests that Apple is planning to release iOS 16.0.3 with additional bug fixes. Evidence of an upcoming iOS 16.0.3 software update has shown up in MacRumors analytics logs, which have been a reliable indicator in the past. There are several...
Apple SIM Card

Apple SIM No Longer Available for Activating New Cellular Data Plans on iPads

Sunday October 2, 2022 8:04 am PDT by
As of October 1, Apple SIM is no longer available for activating new cellular data plans on supported iPad models, according to an Apple support document. Introduced in 2014, the Apple SIM was designed to allow iPad users to activate cellular data plans from multiple carriers around the world. Initially, the Apple SIM was a physical nano-SIM card, but it was embedded inside later iPad Pro...
maxresdefault

Video: AirPods Pro 2 vs. Bose QuietComfort II

Monday October 3, 2022 12:50 pm PDT by
Apple on September 23 officially launched the second-generation version of the AirPods Pro, introducing updated Active Noise Cancellation, Adaptive Transparency, improved sound, and more. Right around the same time, Bose introduced new QuietComfort II earbuds with many similar features, so we thought we'd compare the two to see which has the edge. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for ...
General YouTube Feature 1

You May Soon Need to Be a YouTube Premium Subscriber to Watch 4K Videos

Monday October 3, 2022 4:29 am PDT by
YouTube may make watching videos in 4K quality on the platform exclusive to only YouTube Premium subscribers, according to screenshots posted by users on Twitter and Reddit. On Reddit (1,2) and Twitter, some users have started to recently notice that on iOS, and presumably across other platforms also, YouTube is now saying that in order to watch videos in 4K, the user must be a paying...
dynamic island alan dye

Apple Executives Talk About iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island in New Interview

Sunday October 2, 2022 10:48 am PDT by
In a new interview, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, and Apple's vice president of human interface design, Alan Dye, sat down to discuss the thinking behind the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island and how it was developed. During the interview with the Japanese magazine Axis, Federighi, who oversees the development of iOS, said Dynamic Island represents the...