Apple is ending its in-house modem development, per unconfirmed reports stemming from supply chain sources.
As detailed by MacRumors, two separate reports have claimed that Apple is winding down its modem efforts after several failed attempts. First, a news aggregator account on Naver by the name ‘yeux1122‘ cited supply chain sources related to Apple’s 5G modem development that reportedly said Apple was ending the project. The other report comes from leaker ‘@Tech_Reve,’ which cited reports from a Japanese supply chain source that Apple is discontinuing the project and “streamlining investments in its 5G modem development division and workforce.”
While it’s too early to say whether these reports are accurate, some of the details do line up with other reporting about Apple’s 5G modem. It’s long been reported that Apple was struggling with its modem project, with the company recently renewing its deal to use Qualcomm’s 5G chips in future iPhones. More recently, reports of delays and pushed timelines have surfaced, with Apple possibly looking to include its modem chip in devices in late 2025 or early 2026.
Whatever issues Apple was having, it seems unlikely that the company would up and kill the project entirely. The modem project has been going on since 2018, with Apple acquiring most of Intel’s modem business in 2019 and hiring engineers from Intel and Qualcomm to work on the chip. Couple that with Apple’s strong desire to control its product stack and move away from an expensive deal with Qualcomm (there’s certainly some bad blood between the companies), and it seems to me that Apple would want to keep the modem project going.
Plus, recent reports indicated Apple wants to eventually incorporate the modem chips into its MacBook line, further adding to the company’s long-term modem plans.
All this is to say, it seems unlikely to me that Apple would wind down the modem project unless it had taken a significant turn for the worse. Regardless, we’ll watch this space closely to see whether more information substantiates these initial reports.