You have to be patient. Apple’s work on creating its own modem seems to have been delayed and temporarily “failed”. Contrary to some analysts’ predictions, 2023 iPhones should not own this home mode.
The Acquisition of a portion of the Intel division by the end of 2019, Who was responsible for the design of the cellular chips, helped formalize the effort previously undertaken by Apple. Cupertino has its iPhones, iPods, and – who knows? – Maybe on his Apple Silicon Max. According to experts and analysts, these modems, which are branded by Apple, may have taken their place in Apple products from 2023 onwards, starting with the iPhone 15. However, the most knowledgeable researcher, Ming-Chi Guo, has shattered this belief.
[Company Update] Qualcomm (QCOM.O)
My latest survey indicates that Apple’s own iPhone 5G modem chip development may have failed, so Qualcomm 2H23 will be the exclusive supplier for the new iPhones’ 5G chips, with a 100% distribution share (vs. 20% previous rating).
– 郭明 錤 (Ming-chi Guo) (@mingchikuo) June 28, 2022
According to him, the latest information from his sources indicates that “Development of 5G modems for iPhone may have failed”. The first result is that Qualcomm will continue to deliver its cellular modems to Apple in the second half of 2023. All iPhone 15s are equipped with cellular chips designed by San Diego. So far, only Qualcomm has thought of providing modems for the next 20% of iPhones next year.
However, this failure in chip development is not final, the researcher assures. According to him, Apple will continue to work on its own 5G chips. The good news again for Qualcomm is that it will have time to further improve its SoC functionality for PCs, in particular Apple’s departure will be less affected by the representing losses.
An important issue
For Apple, the question is very strategic. Since the introduction of the first Apple silicon chip for the iPhone, the A4 in 2010, Cupertino has been trying to expand the scope of its control over the hardware component of its products. After the A4, Apple took a new step with the introduction of the A10 Fusion, for which it was not satisfied to integrate the graphic component provided by Imagination Technologies. The chip was also based on Apple’s integration of the T2 chip on some Macs. A chip is fully dedicated to the security of the machines that embed it and the control of certain information flows and devices.
The next leap was taken with the A11 Bionic, the first Apple SoC to be fitted with the Neural Engine, the hardware component for machine learning calculations.
Beyond the desire to control every aspect of its products, this strategy aims to differentiate the iPhone, iPad and Mac from the competition. Apple has established itself as the king of integration between hardware and software. In particular, it allowed to achieve the performance levels of high-end Android smartphones, with seemingly inexpensive hardware configuration.
Succeeding in making its own modems is a way to better control the network performance of its products while at the same time achieving significant savings because third-party payments can no longer be made.
The question now is how important this “failure” will be and will delay the work of Apple’s teams. Having control over the design and integration of the 5G modem will encourage Apple to build on its offerings. Who would not love an ultra-autonomous MacBook that connects directly to mobile networks using an on-board modem?