Apple to Continue Using Qualcomm Modem Chips for 2023 iPhone 15 Models

Apple will continue to source modem chips from Qualcomm for the 2023 iPhone 15 lineup, reports Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Qualcomm said it is set to provide the "vast majority" of modem chips for Apple's devices, despite earlier expectations that it would provide just a fraction of modem chips.

iPhone 15 to Switch From Lightning to USB C in 2023 feature sans arrow
Qualcomm in November 2021 said that it expected to supply 20 percent of Apple's modem chips in 2023, signaling a potential shift to Apple's own modem chips. Apple has been working to cut down on its reliance on Qualcomm by developing its own modem technology in-house, but it does not appear that Apple's chips will be ready for a 2023 launch.

Gurman's report echoes information that we previously heard from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo said in June 2022 that Apple's work on a 5G modem chip "failed," and that Qualcomm would remain Apple's modem supplier for the 2023 iPhone lineup.

Kuo said that development on the chip stalled, but the work is ultimately continuing. Apple is expected to create its own modem chip, but it will take more time for work to be completed and satisfactory for use in iPhones and other devices.

Apple launched a legal battle against Qualcomm in 2017, accusing Qualcomm of unfairly collecting royalties for technologies it had nothing to do with. Apple wanted to transition away from Qualcomm with the shift to 5G to stop paying Qualcomm's fees and instead use Intel technology, but Intel was not able to manufacture 5G chips that met Apple's standards.

Apple was forced to settle its lawsuit with Qualcomm and has since used Qualcomm 5G modem chips for the ‌iPhone‌ and iPad lineups. Apple has been working on its own modem chip since then, and even purchased Intel's modem chip business to get a head start. Initial rumors pinpointed 2023 as the year Apple would be ready to transition, but it looks like it will take a bit longer for Apple to end its modem deals with Qualcomm.

Related Roundup: iPhone 15
Buyer's Guide: iPhone 15 (Caution)
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Top Rated Comments

TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
21 months ago
Honestly, I'm happy with Qualcomm Modem chips. Much better than Intel.

I have a feeling when Apple start to produce its own 5G modem chips for the iPhone and iPad. We will see a significant price increase just like we did with M1/M2 Silicon chips.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Aston441 Avatar
21 months ago
Many chip manufacturers dream of putting out a cell phone modem/radio. Then their lawyers explain to them the cold, hard truth of modern patent law.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sunny5 Avatar
21 months ago
Because Qualcomm has so many patents for modem and therefore, it's quite impossible to go against them. That's also why the lawsuit failed too.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Baritone_Guy Avatar
21 months ago

Looks like WFH strikes again.
Let’s just blame WFH for all our woes. It turns out building a performant modem is actually pretty difficult. Apple worked on the M1 architecture for a lot longer than they have been working on a modem.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LilNasX Avatar
21 months ago
doesn't sound like they are anywhere close to being done with their modem.
2025 at the earliest?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sw1tcher Avatar
21 months ago
Apple should just skip 5G and start working on 6G. Why try to play catch up?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)