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Apple announces multibillion-dollar Broadcom deal amid rumors of in-house 5G iPhone radio

Published May 23rd, 2023 9:31AM EDT
iPhone 12 5G
Image: Apple Inc.

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Today, Apple announced a new multiyear, multibillion-dollar agreement with Broadcom to develop 5G radio frequency components and cutting-edge wireless connectivity components, including FBAR filters, which will be designed and built in several key American manufacturing and technology hubs.

This investment is part of the commitment Apple made in 2021 to invest $430 billion in the US economy over five years. Currently, the Cupertino firm already helps support more than 1,100 jobs in Broadcom’s Fort Collins FBAR filter manufacturing facility. Apple says this partnership will enable “Broadcom to continue to invest in critical automation projects and upskilling with technicians and engineers.”

“We’re thrilled to make commitments that harness the ingenuity, creativity, and innovative spirit of American manufacturing,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “All of Apple’s products depend on technology engineered and built here in the United States, and we’ll continue to deepen our investments in the US economy because we have an unshakable belief in America’s future.”

Interestingly enough, a report by Bloomberg at the beginning of 2022 said Apple was working on its own Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chips alongside a custom 5G modem to ditch Qualcomm and Broadcom.

The American company currently supplies the Cupertino firm Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chips, as well as radio-frequency processors and one that handles wireless charging. While Bloomberg reported that Apple would make the transition step by step beginning in 2025, this multiyear, multibillion-dollar agreement shows that Apple might have decided to design its upcoming iPhone chips but ask Broadcom to produce them.

It’s important to note that Apple’s plans regarding custom Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 5G chips are still uncertain, as we have heard several reports about delays, poor performance, overheating, and more. For the 5G modem, for example, Apple could be planning to launch it alongside the new iPhone SE, which could be available in 2024 or 2025, and depending on the success, it would expand to the flagship iPhone lineup.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.