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iPhone 15, iPhone 16 suggest using Qualcomm modems; Apple 5G chip delayed until 2025

iPhone models due for release in 2023 and 2024, including the iPhone 15 and iPhone 16, will reportedly continue to feature the recently announced Qualcomm Snapdragon X70 chipset and the yet-to-be-announced Snapdragon X75 modem. Future iPhone models over the next two years will debut without Apple’s 5G modem, which is said to be in development. The Qualcomm X75 is expected to be built on TSMC’s 4nm process to improve energy efficiency. Earlier in June, another analyst indicated that Qualcomm will continue to act as the exclusive supplier of 5G modems for new iPhone models that will be released before 2023.

According to a research note by Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu seen by MacRumors, the iPhone 15, which could launch in 2023, and the iPhone 16, which is expected in 2024, could be equipped with Qualcomm X70 and X75 modems, respectively. In recent years, the company has been trying to develop its own 5G modem to reduce its dependence on Qualcomm as a supplier.

TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously noted that iPhone models released in 2023 will feature Apple’s own 5G modem chip, with only a 20 percent share of shipments to remain with Qualcomm. However, according to Kuo’s tweet, those efforts may have “failed,” meaning that 100 percent of 5G modem chip or Apple iPhone shipments will remain with Qualcomm.

The iPhone 15 models due for release in 2023 are expected to feature the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon X70 modem, which the American semiconductor company announced in February this year. The Snapdragon X70 modem supports download speeds up to 10 Gbps, as well as additional AI capabilities to improve average speed, coverage, signal quality, lower latency, and increase energy efficiency by up to 60%.

Apple’s own 5G modem chipset is likely to be ready for download in iPhone models only by 2025, two years short of previous projections, according to forecasts. According to an earlier report, Apple plans to partner with TSMC to produce its own 5G iPhone modem chips for future smartphones. The modem was reported to have been developed and tested on a 5nm process before moving into mass production in 2023 on a 4nm process.

Apple bought Intel’s 5G modem division in 2019 after Qualcomm and Apple agreed to end a costly modem technology patent dispute, with Qualcomm receiving more than $4 billion (roughly Rs. 29,800 crore) in the settlement.

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