Apple’s feverish efforts to develop its own 5G modem chip “may have failed,” meaning the company will need to continue to rely on its current modem provider, Qualcomm, for its 2023 iPhone. That comes from Apple industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Kuo has tweeted that his “latest survey” suggests that development on the chip has stalled, meaning Qualcomm would continue to be the exclusive supplier for 5G chips for its 2023 iPhone lineup. Previously, Kuo had said that Apple’s 2023 iPhones would likely use modem chips designed in-house rather than Qualcomm chips.
[Company Update] Qualcomm (QCOM.O)
My latest survey indicates that Apple's own iPhone 5G modem chip development may have failed, so Qualcomm will remain exclusive supplier for 5G chips of 2H23 new iPhones, with a 100% supply share (vs. company's previous estimate of 20%).
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) June 28, 2022
Qualcomm is now expected to supply all of the 5G chips for the 2023 iPhone models, rather than just the expected 20%. Kuo expects Apple to continue to develop its own 5G chips, but it will take more time for the development work to be completed and ready for use in iPhones and other devices.
Apple’s development of its own 5G modem, which reportedly kicked off in early 2020, has been widely reported.
Apple in July 2019 purchased the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business. The transaction was valued at $1 billion Apple said at the time that the purchase will “help expedite our development on future products and allow Apple to further differentiate moving forward.”