It is no secret that Apple wants to make its own modems for its own smartphones. The company acquired Intel’s modem division a while back, but as expected, it will take Apple a while to get to where they need to be. This means that at the moment, Apple is still using Qualcomm’s tech for its iPhones.
However, that is expected to change in 2023. During Qualcomm’s investor day, Qualcomm CFO Akash Palkhiwala told investors that they expect to supply just 20% of Apple’s 5G modem orders in 2023. A subsequent report from DigiTimes has also revealed that 2022 will be the last year in which Qualcomm will supply 100% of modems to Apple for the iPhone.
What this means is that come 2023, the remaining 80% of Apple’s iPhone modem needs will be supplied by someone else, which many have speculated could actually be fulfilled by Apple themselves. There aren’t that many companies making 5G modems so unless Apple has turned to other companies like MediaTek, there is a good chance that 2023 will be the year Apple debuts their own 5G modems.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Apple has mixed and matched parts. In the past, Apple has used components from both Intel and Qualcomm, so we wouldn’t be surprised if Apple won’t fully transition to their own modems first. It remains to be seen how much better (or worse) Apple’s own modems will be compared to Qualcomm, but we’ll have to wait until 2023 to find out.