Apple has been trying to develop its own 5G modems to replace the Qualcomm radio chips currently used in the iPhone. However, even after years of development, the company has struggled to achieve good results with its in-house developed chips. According to a new report by Bloomberg, Apple will miss its goal of finalizing its first 5G modem in time for the 2025 iPhones.
Apple again delays plans to ship its first 5G modem for iPhone
In 2019, Apple acquired Intel’s modem division in a $1 billion deal as an attempt to replace Qualcomm’s modems. The deal gave Apple more than 17,000 patents, and more than 2,200 Intel employees joined the Cupertino-based company to work on modem-related technologies.
But all these efforts weren’t enough for Apple to create 5G modems that beat Qualcomm’s in terms of performance and efficiency. As a result, the company has been postponing its plans to switch from Qualcomm modems to its own ever since. And it will be a few more years before Apple’s first 5G modem becomes a reality.
At first, Apple wanted to have its own 5G modem ready by next year, but this was extremely unlikely. The company then set a goal to “ship the component by spring 2025.” However, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that the company will be lucky if it manages to finish its 5G modem by the end of 2025.
The report describes Apple’s 5G modem project as a “frustrating journey” for the company’s engineers and executives. At the same time, previous reports have revealed that Apple’s chips have been suffering from overheating.
Deal with Qualcomm lasts until 2026
Just one day before the iPhone 15 lineup was announced in September, Qualcomm announced that it had extended its deal with Apple until at least 2026, two years longer than both companies had previously agreed. This gives Apple another three years to either finish the design of its first 5G modem or once again extend the deal with Qualcomm.
It’s worth noting that Qualcomm is also the supplier of the satellite communication module used by iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models, although some of the radio frequency components were designed by Apple.
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