Qualcomm is pretty much the only player in town when it comes to making 5G modems for the consumer space, so when it announced the new Snapdragon X60 everyone took notice. The company says that we can expect the first phones using the new modem to begin launching in around a year’s time.

The new modem is an improvement over the current Snapdragon X55 because it’s built on a 5nm fabrication process.

The current modem is built on a 7nm process, so it gets warmer and uses more power. Because the X60 will run cooler and be more energy-efficient, we should see next year’s 5G phones offer battery life improvements, for example.

Qualcomm also says that the new modem will be able to combine both mmWave and sub-6Ghz bands to create a super-connection, allowing for higher transfer speeds when required. That will obviously only help you if you’re in the right place and using the right carrier, but it’s good to know that the technology is there.

We’re expecting Apple’s iPhone 12 to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 modem, with the company already working on using its own modems at some point. It’s unlikely that will happen next year, so we’d expect the new Snapdragon X60 to be the modem powering the 2021 iPhones. Unless the two companies manage to fall out again, of course.

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