A few years ago, Apple spent an eye-watering $1 billion acquiring Intel’s modem business. Presumably the idea was that Apple would leverage the tech and work that Intel has done and eventually start making their own 5G modems for future iPhones, iPads, and maybe even MacBook laptops.
However, there is the question of when will we see Apple’s own modems? According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, he claims that the earliest we will see Apple’s own in-house modems will be in 2023. This is corroborated by Anshel Sag, another analyst, who told Fierce Wireless that the 2023 timeline is within the realm of possibility, although he does state that 2024 does seem like a more likely date.
According to Sag, “5G will be far more commoditized and ubiquitous than it is today, which lowers the bar to entry for a newer entrant like Apple.” Kuo and Sag’s estimation of the release of Apple’s in-house modem also coincides with a report from earlier this year which also pointed towards a possible 2023 release.
Apple loves controlling its products from hardware to software, so this is really a matter of when, and not if. Unfortunately, we can’t be sure if Apple’s own modems will have any advantages over those supplied by Qualcomm, so only time will tell.