As a company that is notorious for introducing new technologies late, it might be surprising that Apple should start making its own chipsets for its mobile devices.
It was a generation behind in adopting 3G and 4G LTE cellular capabilities for earlier iPhones, and once it jumps into a new market, it usually dominates. But with the launch of 5G, the iPhone could see a tremendous uptick in demand and spur new services and innovations.
While Qualcomm is the only chip supplier that works with US carriers, Apple has a strong relationship with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC).
While Apple has said it plans to manufacture 5G iPhone modems beginning in 2023, it has not specified the specific speed. However, the report says the device will support 5G networks with the Qualcomm X50 chip.
While Qualcomm and TSMC are the main chip suppliers for 5G networks, Apple is also working on its own modem.
Apple to Start Making its Own Chipset for 5G & Wi-Fi Compatibility- Reports
According to a recent report from Nikkei Asia, Apple is working on a custom-designed 5G modem that will make the company less dependent on Qualcomm solutions. The completion of the custom-made modem is expected to happen by 2025.
It is not clear how much time Apple needs to develop its own 5G modem. A Reuters report says the company expects to finish the development of its own 5G baseband chip in 2023.
While the timeline is not concrete, the company is pursuing other ways to reduce its dependence on Qualcomm’s chips. It has a number of strategic partners, including TSMC, to develop custom modems for its devices.
Apple to Start Making its Own Chipset for 5G & Wi-Fi Compatibility- Agreement
The move makes sense for Apple considering the company has a supply agreement with Qualcomm. The company is already making its own iPhone modems for the iPhone.
Its new modems will be the same ones that it uses for its MacBooks. If the two companies work together, it will not be surprising if Apple makes its own Apple phones.
The move will be good for the future of Apple’s mobile devices. While Qualcomm is still the leading supplier for the iPhone, the company may be able to find a chip that’s compatible with the US carriers.
The iPhone 11 Pro camera will be compatible with the new technology, but its cameras will be the last thing it sells. If Apple does not make its own modem, the iPhone’s camera will also be unusable.
Apple to Start Making its Own Chipset for 5G & Wi-Fi Compatibility- Cost Efficiency
The switch to Apple chipset isn’t all about integrating its own modems with its iPhones. The company’s own modems will be the most cost-efficient option for iPhones, so it will be easier for Apple to meet its sales goals.
A custom modem will be able to integrate more features with the device and enable greater performance.
It is unclear how long it will take to make its own chips. Although Qualcomm has been preparing to produce its own chipsets for years, the move to its own silicon will be an expensive venture for Apple.
Apple to Start Making its Own Chipset for 5G & Wi-Fi Compatibility- Wrap Up
The company will need to make its own chipset for smartphones for the next several years. The chip will run the Apple iPhone. The chip will be used to connect to cellular networks.
Intel has long been all-in on 5G until recently. After settling a lawsuit with Apple over Qualcomm, Intel scrapped its entire division for the latest iPhones. Despite its success with the iPhone, the chipsets are problematic for US carriers.
The iPhones, for example, may not support the technology’s multi-band spectrum. It may also not be compatible with the network’s antennas.
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