Apple could switch to its own 5G iPhone modems by 2023

Apple's purchase of Intel's smartphone modem division could finally pay off

iPhone 12 Pro Max

Apple’s purchase of Intel’s smartphone modem division could finally pay off in 2023, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a report first published by MacRumors.

Kuo says that Apple’s first smartphones to feature its own custom 5G chips will release in 2023 “at the earliest.” This means that Apple will likely continue to use Qualcomm’s modems in its smartphones for the next few iPhone generations.

“We predict that the iPhone will adopt Apple’s own design 5G baseband chips in 2023 at the earliest,” writes Kuo. “As Android sales in the high-end 5G phone market are sluggish, Qualcomm will be forced to compete for more orders in the low-end market to compensate for Apple’s order loss.”

Apple’s iPhone 12 series features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 modem and the 2021 version of the smartphone will likely feature the chip maker’s X60 and X65 modems. Apple making the jump to its own 5G modem could improve battery life and would likely reduce supply constraints, pushing down the price of 5G modems.
In theory, this should make it cheaper for mid-range Android device manufacturers to equip their devices with Qualcomm 5G modems.
Source: MacRumors