iPhone 15 to use Qualcomm’s 5G modem because Apple’s isn’t read

(Pocket-lint) – After expecting Apple to use its own 5G modem starting with iPhone 15, Qualcomm now says that it will provide the “vast majority” of them instead.

Apple has been working on building its own 5G modem since picking up what was left of Intel’s modem business in 2019, but it was always going to take time to get it ready for use in iPhones. That was initially expected to happen in 2023 with the iPhone 15 launch, with Qualcomm itself having already said that it expected to lose most of its Apple business. Now, not so much.

Comments made in a document that accompanied Qualcomm’s earnings report on Wednesday confirmed that it now expects to provide the “vast majority” of modems for Apple’s phones next year.


There had already been a suggestion that this move was in the cards, however. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said earlier this year that he believed Apple’s own 5G modem had “failed”. Apple is still expected to favor a move to its own modems in the future, but it now won’t happen in 2023.

Apple’s desire to control all aspects of iPhone manufacturing isn’t a new one, of course. It already designs its own chips and has TSMC build them, while it’s a similar story with iPads and Macs thanks to the recent transition to Apple’s own silicon. The removal of Intel from Apple’s Mac lineup ensures the company is no longer beholden to the chipmaker’s own CPU roadmap. As a result, Apple has more control over when it releases its Macs.

If all goes according to previous release cadences we can expect Apple to announce its iPhone 15 lineup in or around the middle of September of 2023.

Writing by Oliver Haslam.

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