Yesterday, it was confirmed that Apple would be acquiring most of Intel’s modem business for a cool $1 billion. It was largely speculated that this could be part of Apple’s plan to eventually create their own modems, but when exactly these Apple-made modems will be released is anyone’s guess.
However, it turns out it could be sooner than we thought. According to a report from Reuters, it has been revealed that Apple is looking to have its own 5G modems ready by 2021. While this sounds like it could be pretty fast, we should point out that Intel had previously stated that they would have 5G modems ready in 2020, so with Apple acquiring Intel’s assets and with their own progress, a 2021 date doesn’t seem entirely out of the question.
This also means that Apple will not rely on Qualcomm for too long. It was previously rumored that Apple would be launching a 5G iPhone in 2020. The modems used for that iPhone are said to be sourced from Qualcomm, thanks to a settlement agreement between both companies that finally put their lawsuit to rest.
Now before we get too excited for Apple’s own 5G modems, the report from Reuters suggests that it could be done in phases. This is to ensure compatibility across networks in different countries. This means that Apple could still rely on Qualcomm for the foreseeable future.