Apple pushing hard to get their own 5G modem into 2022’s iPhones

Mark Sullivan for Fast Company:

After buying Intel’s 5G modem business earlier this year, Apple is wasting no time building its own 5G modem for the iPhone. The company is pushing to have its modem in iPhones by 2022, a very aggressive timeline given all the development, testing, and certification work involved, a source with knowledge of the company’s plans said.

For now, Apple is getting its iPhone modems from Qualcomm, after the two companies dropped their legal squabbling and made up in April… But given their past disputes, Apple and Qualcomm have an uneasy relationship… Apple management is leaning on its modem group in San Diego (also home, not coincidentally, to Qualcomm) to finish the new Apple 5G modem sooner rather than later…

Now that Apple essentially owns the Intel modem technology it will very likely move toward baking the new 5G modem into an Apple SoC.

MacDailyNews Take: That is a crazily aggressive timeline. Our sympathies to those working (much overtime) in Apple’s modem team over the coming years!


  1. If Apple is going to spend all that time and effort in developing their own 5G modem they should make sure they put in it more than just their iPhones. They better make sure they also put them in their iPads and MacBooks at least as optional components. Apple needs to spread that R&D cost over a few of their products. All of their mobile ARM products should have 5G modems if Apple expects to become the mobile king. If other companies are putting modems in their laptops, then Apple should, at least, follow suit.

    I think Apple will have difficult time competing with Qualcomm who has been in the baseband modem business for decades. Sure, I know it’s possible, but it won’t be easy. Qualcomm is a very aggressive company and they will do anything to stay on top by partnering with other companies with deeper pockets than themselves. Apple can’t really partner up with anyone as they’ll surely keep any 5G modem components for Apple products only. Apple needs to become more aggressive in getting their products out to as many consumers as possible.

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