Apple continues on its way to developing products that are built, at least for the most part, with self-developed components. A few years ago, Apple began to design its own chips for the iPad and iPhone, these being manufactured by TSMC, and in 2020 they turned their back on Intel with the launch of the Apple Silicon M1.
Little by little, the company with the bitten apple has been investing in different sections and technologies to ensure that their products are manufactured “at home”, but something they lacked was the modem. Here they depended on Qualcomm (with the current X65 of the iPhone 14 Pro or the X57 of the iPhone SE 2022), but it seems that for a short time. And it is that, it is expected that the iPhone 16 integrates a modem developed by Apple. At least, that’s what the Qualcomm CEO hopes.
The iPhone 15 would be the last with a 5G modem
Apple used both Qualcomm and Intel modems in their devices, but recently they only bought from Qualcomm. The reason is that in 2019 Apple acquired Intel’s modem division for $1 billion.
The goal was clear: Apple wanted more independence at the hardware level, but we didn’t know when the first home-made modem would arrive. Estimates indicated 2025 as the year of landingBut things may have sped up.
Cristiano Amon is the CEO of Qualcomm and, recently, he has given an interview to CNBC in which he has talked about various topics. On the one hand, the dispute between his company and ARM, something that comes just when Qualcomm intends to fully enter the automotive and laptop segments.
However, he has also spoken about Qualcomm’s relationship with Apple. He has been quite concise, but has commented that they are not making plans for 2024 with Apple and that His opinion is that they will not provide a modem for 2024 to those of Cupertino.
It is not the first time that Amon comments something like thissince in 2021 he already told investors that he did not expect to provide modems for the 2023 iPhone (the iPhone 15 of which we already began to have rumors), but that Apple decided to continue for another year.
That year it could be because they did not have their modems ready, but also because they would be waiting to be able to offer different versions depending on the category of the phone.
The advantages of having your own modem on the iPhone
This opinion of Christian has been accompanied by a rumor, that of the new iPhone SE. As they would say in a series, “in previous chapters” there was a rumor of an abandonment of the SE family.
Yet the same leaker who spread that rumor (and who is one of Apple’s most reliable sources in the sector), now comments that the iPhone SE 4 was not dead, but on a spree, and could return in 2024 with the design of the iPhone 14 and a 5G modem Homemade.
Having said that, in 2024 we would have the three iPhone lines back with a “cheap” model, the standard and the Pro/Ultra or whatever they call it, and in addition to other components and sections, the modem would be a difference.
Having Apple make its own modems not only gives it independence, but also gives it certain advantages. We do not know if they will integrate it into the SoCbut if they do, it is an internal space that they gain to reorganize some components and include… bigger batteries?
Another advantage is greater control of the manufacturing process., so they can be further optimized to consume less battery and, in addition, they can manufacture several versions with different frequencies. And that’s where they can supply a more powerful version for the iPhone 16 and a more “cut” one for cheap models, the rumored SE4.