Kuo: 2023 iPhones Will Be The First To Feature Apple’s Custom 5G Modem
Apple’s 2023 iPhones will be the first to make use of Apple’s own 5G modems. That’s according to a new analyst report from Ming-Chi Kuo.
The report claims that Apple will finally be able to ditch Qualcomm and move to its own modems for the 2023 iPhones, but not sooner.
In fact, Kuo also appears to be hedging his bets by saying that 2023 is the earliest we can expect an Apple 5G modem to be used inside an iPhone.
We predict that the iPhone will adopt Apple’s own design 5G baseband chips in 2023 at the earliest. 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. When the supply constraints improve, MediaTek and Qualcomm will have less bargaining power over brands, resulting in significantly higher competitive pressure in the mid-to low- end market.
Apple picked up Intel’s modem business in 2019 as part of its program to eliminate its reliance on Qualcomm for its 5G modems. Apple tends to prefer to design its own chips, including the A-series chips that power Apple’s iPhones and iPads. The same goes for the processors inside the Apple Watch as well as the new Apple silicon replacing Intel chips in the Mac lineup.
It isn’t yet clear whether the move to an Apple-designed modem will also bring any speed or other improvements, although it will at least mean Apple isn’t beholden to Qualcomm’s modem roadmap from 2023 onwards.