It seems that Apple won’t have its in-house 5G modem ready in time to include it in next year’s iPhone lineup. The company seems to have been working on a proprietary modem since 2019. Rumors suggested that Apple was looking for ways to stop depending on Qualcomm to provide the necessary components for its 5G-enabled devices.
According to a report from Nikkei Asia, Apple will finally be able to feature its own 5G modem in 2023 iPhones. The report mentions that TSMC would build these new 5G modems with 4nm architecture.
Ming-Chi Kuo had previously suggested that Apple would switch to its in-house modem in 2023, making the information on Nikkei Asia’s report easier to believe. Remember that Apple bought most of Intel’s modem business back in 2019, which has also helped Apple reach its goal of creating in-house components.
“Apple plans to adopt TSMC’s 4-nanometer chip production technology to mass produce its first in-house 5G modem chip, four people familiar with the matter said, adding that the iPhone maker is developing its own radio frequency and millimeter wave components to complement the modem. Apple is also working on its own power management chip specifically for the modem, two people briefed on the matter said.”
Further, Qualcomm has also been working and planning its future, assuming that it will only have a 20 percent share of the modem production for the future iPhone models that will launch in 2023. The company believes that Cupertino will include its own 5G modems in several regions around the planet. Still, they would also try to keep Qualcomm modems in certain markets, or at least during the first steps of this transition.
The report also claims that Apple and TSMC are already testing the production of a new Apple 5G modem using 5nm architecture. But don’t expect them to go into mass production, as Cupertino would switch to a 4nm process to create the necessary components for the 2023 iPhone. It also mentions that TSMC is already working to include a 4nm A-series chip in next year’s iPhone lineup, while next year’s iPads and 2023 iPhones could feature new chips based on a 3nm process.
Apple iPhone 13
Source: Nikkei Asia