Apple has reportedly extended its partnership with Qualcomm for 5G modems, ensuring a continued supply for the next three years. This development comes as a surprise, given previous indications that Apple was planning to transition to its own proprietary 5G modems.
Delay in Apple’s 5G Modem
Notably, well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had previously disclosed Apple’s intentions to shift to its in-house developed 5G modems by 2025. However, a recent report from Bloomberg suggests that Apple’s custom modem is not yet prepared for integration into iPhones. Apple had previously acquired Intel’s modem division with the aim of developing its own 5G modem technology, reducing its reliance on Qualcomm’s hardware.
The analyst further noted that the forthcoming iPhone SE 4th Gen is anticipated to be the first to feature the new modem, with a launch expected in the first quarter of 2025. However, it now appears that Apple will maintain its partnership with Qualcomm until at least 2026, continuing to rely on Qualcomm’s modems. Since the iPhone 12, Qualcomm has exclusively supplied Apple with 5G modems. Currently, Apple stands as Qualcomm’s largest client, accounting for 22.3 percent of their orders.
In recent years, Apple has been diligently working towards greater self-reliance by developing its own technologies and components, thereby reducing its dependence on external suppliers. Presently, Qualcomm holds a dominant position in the 5G modem market, offering cutting-edge modems for mobile devices. Other leading smartphone manufacturers, including Samsung, also utilize Qualcomm’s modems for wireless connectivity.