For years, Apple has been working on its own modems in order to free itself from the Qualcomm extortionist, but the effort is taking longer than even Qualcomm expected.
Back in November 2021, Qualcomm said that the company believes believed it would supply only 20% of the modem chips in Apple iPhones as of Apple’s 2023 launch, but Qualcomm now believes it will supply the majority of Apple’s modems in 2023 and, possibly, beyond.
That means Qualcomm will continue to get a solid revenue stream from Apple’s large iPhone volumes. It also suggests Apple’s in-house initiative is running behind.
In 2018, during a feud with Qualcomm over patents, Apple started kicking around the idea of adopting its own modem design. In 2019, the two companies settled, ensuring that Apple would get 5G modems in time for the iPhone 12. That same year, Apple acquired Intel Corp.’s modem unit.
In 2020, Johny Srouji, Apple’s chip development chief, told employees that work on an in-house modem was well underway. But in recent months, I’ve heard that the project has faced challenges, including prototypes overheating.
MacDailyNews Take: This only underscores how difficult it is to develop cellular modems (especially, if you’re trying to work around others’ patents). The challenge continues.
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