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.

iphone 12 5g
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.

Related Roundups: iPhone 15, iPhone 16
Tags: 5G, Qualcomm
Buyer's Guide: iPhone 15 (Neutral)
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

phill85 Avatar
18 months ago
Thank goodness! After the intel modem debacle, that was years of my life with a crappy signal.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
citysnaps Avatar
18 months ago

I think Tim Cook may look back on buying Intel’s modem business as one of his single greatest mistakes.
Indeed.

I suspect he and others at Apple didn't understand and fully appreciate/respect Qualcomm and its founders (Andrew Viterbi and Irwin Jacobs) immense depth in communications theory/technology and signal processing, going back decades, and how fractions of dBs count in cellular telecom modem performance. And then there's Qualcomm's immense patent portfolio to be aware of and cautious navigating.

Intel didn't have a chance.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ilikewhey Avatar
18 months ago
not surprised, modems are notoriously hard to design and get it right, even if apple comes out with their own, they still be paying patent royalties to QC.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
18 months ago
Nice! As long it's not intel. I’m happy! I like Qualcomm Modems.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Total Respray Avatar
18 months ago

Part of the problem is Apple on-boarded 1,000+ second rate Intel engineers

Not clear what Apple thought they were getting with that deal
I think they got a good number of patents from the deal
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
citysnaps Avatar
18 months ago

It’s weird that Intel has such good WiFi chips but their cellular modems are hot garbage by comparison.
Intel's engineers were competing with a company whose founders pretty much wrote the book with respect to modern digital communications.

I'm not faulting Intel engineers. It just wasn't a fair fight to begin with.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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