In a note to clients — as noted by MacRumors — analyst Ming-Chi Kuo the first Apple-designed 5G modem is likely to debut in 2023 iPhones.
“We predict that the iPhone will adopt Apple’s own design 5G baseband chips in 2023 at the earliest,” he says. “As Android sales in the high-end 5G phone market are sluggish, Qualcomm will be forced to compete for more orders in the low-end market to compensate for Apple’s order loss. When the supply constraints improve, MediaTek and Qualcomm will have less bargaining power over brands, resulting in significantly higher competitive pressure in the mid-to low- end market.”
The Sellers Research Group (that’s me) thinks Kuo is spot on. I also think that we’ll see Apple 5G modem in not only iPhones, but also iPad Pros — and, hopefully, Mac laptops.
The tech giant has been planning its own modems for some time. Apple acquired Intel’s smartphone modem business in July 2019, adding 2,200 Intel engineers to its chipset operations globally.
Apple currently uses Qualcomm modems, including the Snapdragon X55 modem in iPhone 12 models. In 2019, a legal settlement between Apple and Qualcomm revealed that Apple will likely use the Snapdragon X60 modem in 2021 iPhones, followed by the Snapdragon X65 modem in 2022 iPhones.