Qualcomm CEO Expects Apple's 5G Chip to Start Rolling Out Next Year

Speaking at the MWC 2023 conference today, Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon said Apple's rumored 5G chip could be ready next year.

5G Modem Feature Blue
"We expect that Apple will do their own modem in 2024, but if they need ours they know where to find us," said Amon, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern. His comment was shared by tech analyst Carolina Milanesi.

Qualcomm is currently the exclusive supplier of 5G modems for Apple devices, including the entire iPhone 14 lineup, but Apple has long been rumored to be designing its own 5G chip as an in-house replacement. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month reported that Apple initially plans to use the chip in just one new product, such as a high-end iPhone model, and would fully phase out Qualcomm's modems about three years later.

Based on the 2024 timeframe that Amon provided, it's possible that Apple's 5G chip could debut in at least one iPhone 16 model. It's also possible that Apple could introduce the 5G chip in a lower-volume product first, such as an iPad. It's unclear how Apple's chip would perform compared to Qualcomm's modems, but the switch to an in-house design would likely reduce Apple's production costs over time.

In the meantime, all iPhone 15 models are expected to be equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X70 modem, which has further cellular speed and power efficiency improvements compared to the Snapdragon X65 found in all iPhone 14 models. Qualcomm also recently announced its latest Snapdragon X75 modem, which could still be used in some of Apple's future devices amid the gradual transition to its own 5G chip.

Update: In a tweet today, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said it is still undetermined if iPhone 16 models will be equipped with Apple's 5G chip. Kuo said the decision will depend on whether Apple can overcome technical challenges related to mmWave and satellite connectivity.

Related Roundups: iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Pro

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Top Rated Comments

TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
16 months ago
To this day, I still believe 4G LTE is faster than 5G. Sometimes 5G takes forever to load and the coverage is also not available everywhere.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Adoniram Avatar
16 months ago
It would be wise to put this into something like the iPhone SE or an iPad to start, unless apple is really confident that this will be a breakthrough device like the M-series chips… but modems are in a different world of difficulty.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dlewis23 Avatar
16 months ago

To this day, I still believe 4G LTE is faster than 5G.
If you are in the US, it is not. There are certainly cases where X location and sometimes LTE is faster than 5G and that can often be because that 5G is not really "5G".

But as an average across the country 5G is faster and the gap is getting a lot wider. Also now 5G Standalone is finally really rolling out and 5G at over 500 Mbps is becoming more common, 1 Gbps + 5G is not far off from being common place.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
citysnaps Avatar
16 months ago
I'm skeptical Apple's modem will meet or exceed the performance of Qualcomm's.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Robert.Walter Avatar
16 months ago

How about waiting until it works reliably. Maybe give it 4 or 5 more years.
If I were a Qualcomm investor I’d say this too.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
adamw Avatar
16 months ago
Hope they thoroughly test any new 5G modem chips before Apple includes it in any new models of iPhones.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)