iPhone 16: Qualcomm's Latest 5G Modem May Be Limited to Pro Models

Qualcomm's latest cellular modem may be limited to the iPhone 16 Pro models this year, according to technology analyst Jeff Pu.

iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature
In a research note today with investment firm Haitong International Securities, Pu reiterated his belief that the iPhone 16 Pro models will be equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X75 modem. However, he expects the standard iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus to retain the Snapdragon X70 modem found in all iPhone 15 models. This modem differentiation between the standard and Pro models would be a change in strategy for Apple.

Announced in February 2023, the Snapdragon X75 features improved carrier aggregation and other technology advancements for faster 5G download and upload speeds compared to the X70. The modem's combined mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G transceiver takes up 25% less circuit board space, and uses up to 20% less power, according to The Verge.

The Snapdragon X75 also supports the latest "5G Advanced" standard, which is described as "the next phase of 5G" and an "evolution towards 6G." 5G Advanced will include artificial intelligence and machine learning enhancements for improved 5G performance, and it will also expand 5G to additional device types and use cases.

Apple is likely to advertise 5G Advanced support on the iPhone 16 Pro models, like it did with LTE Advanced on the iPhone 6s in 2015.

Apple is rumored to have been working on its own 5G modem for iPhones since 2018, but the project has reportedly faced development challenges, and the modem is not expected to be announced until 2025 or later should it ever materialize. In the meantime, Apple extended its 5G modem agreement with Qualcomm through 2026.

Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 16 lineup in September.

Related Roundups: iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Pro

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Top Rated Comments

gco212 Avatar
26 weeks ago

The deal on regular iPhones keeps getting worse.

People need to figure out that Apple is currently doing a Jedi Mind Trick, the normal iPhone is now the iPhone SE and the iPhone Pro is the normal iPhone. They're selling year old tech in the normal iPhone but pretending it's still the bleeding edge.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coffeemilktea Avatar
26 weeks ago
I get that Apple needs to have "special" features on the Pro to get people to buy the more expensive models, but have phone upgrades gotten so underwhelming that Apple is resorting to "you better get the Pro or you won't have the cooler modem?" ?

(clearly all the cool kids have the X75 and not the X70 modem... I guess...? ?)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cdsapplefan Avatar
26 weeks ago
Apple has to cut costs somewhere to appease shareholders
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
User 6502 Avatar
26 weeks ago
It’s just pathetic at this point. Just get rid of the pro model and go back to when there was a single flagship iPhone each year.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Reason077 Avatar
26 weeks ago

5G Advanced will include artificial intelligence
So, 5G Advanced was actually originally going to include blockchain technology, but they had to pivot to AI instead because that’s the latest thing now. HYPE!!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
japanime Avatar
26 weeks ago
Gotta have some excuse to charge $1,200 for the top-end model ?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)