It has been speculated that one of the reasons why Apple and Qualcomm settled their lawsuit was because Apple needed Qualcomm for their 5G technology. Sure enough, according to a teardown video of the iPhone 12 posted onto Weibo, it has been confirmed that Apple is using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 modem for its 5G iPhones.
What’s interesting is that the Snapdragon X55 is actually an older model. Qualcomm had released the X60 earlier this year that is supposed to be more power efficient than the x55 due to it being built on the 5nm process, versus the 7nm process used by the X55, and it seems that it is evident that this is the case.
According to a recent battery test conducted by Tom’s Guide, it was found that using 5G on the iPhone 12 will prove to be a massive battery drain by about 2 hours compared to using LTE. However, as MacRumors notes, it is possible that the iPhone 12 was too far into development for Apple to switch to the use of the X60, although it is speculated that the 2021 iPhones could switch to the X60.
That being said, this reliance on Qualcomm could be temporary. Back in 2019, Apple confirmed that they had acquired Intel’s smartphone modem business for $1 billion. It is believed that this acquisition could accelerate the company’s plans to make their own 5G modems that could debut in future Apple products, although it is unclear when this will happen.