Qualcomm Predicted to Remain 5G Modem Supplier for iPhone 15 and iPhone 16
Apple is rumored to be developing its own 5G chip for future iPhones, but Qualcomm is predicted to remain the supplier of modems for all iPhone 15 and iPhone 16 models, suggesting that Apple's chip will not debut until at least 2025.
In a research note on Friday, Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu said he expects iPhone models released in 2024 to use Qualcomm's as-yet-unannounced Snapdragon X75 modem. Like the Snapdragon X70, the X75 is expected to be manufactured based on TSMC's 4nm process, contributing to power efficiency improvements.
In June, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicated that Qualcomm would remain the exclusive supplier of 5G modems for new iPhone models in 2023 given that Apple failed to complete development of its own replacement chip. At the time, Kuo said he believed that Apple would continue to develop its own 5G chip, but he did not provide a timeframe for when the chip would be ready for use in iPhones.
All four iPhone 15 models are expected to be equipped with Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon X70 modem, announced in February. Like the Snapdragon X65 modem in iPhone 14 models, the X70 theoretically supports up to 10 Gbps download speeds, with newly added artificial intelligence capabilities for faster average speeds, improved coverage, better signal quality, lower latency, and up to 60% improved power efficiency.
All in all, while initial reports claimed that Apple's own 5G modem could debut in iPhones as early as 2023, the switchover might take at least a few years longer.