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Kuo: Apple stops developing its own Wi-Fi chips, iPhone 15 to feature Wi-Fi 6E support

Updated Jan 26th, 2023 4:05PM EST
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Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is back with another report regarding Apple’s plans to develop its own Wi-Fi chips. According to his late analysis, the Cupertino firm is no longer developing these chips. One of the reasons is that Apple can’t create a solution combining Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which Broadcom, its supplier, already can.

He writes:

From a design standpoint, developing a Wi-Fi+Bluetooth combo chip is more challenging than just a Wi-Fi-only chip. Since most of Apple’s products use the combo chip, it would be even more challenging to replace Broadcom’s combo chips with its own if Apple decides to do so.

Kuo compares the development of Apple’s own Wi-Fi chip to its 5G modem. According to him, the Wi-Fi development was way worse than the 5G baseband chip, which the company still plans to release sometime in the future.

In addition, the analyst believes Apple is focusing on mass-producing the 3nm processors as soon as 2023, as it will help the company “significantly improve” against its previous launches due to performance upgrades and power consumption improvements.

He also talks about iPhone 15 making the switch to Wi-Fi 6E. Just like the latest iPad Pro and Mac models, Apple plans to bring this faster Wi-Fi standard to its next flagship phones release:

Based on the above, investors should not be worried about Apple’s own Wi-Fi chip affecting Broadcom’s Wi-Fi chip business in the foreseeable future. Instead, in the next couple of years, Apple and competitors will start adopting Wi-Fi 6E/7 chips with higher ASP, and Broadcom is a leading beneficiary in this trend. Also, Broadcom will be the biggest winner from the new iPhone 15’s upgrade to Wi-Fi 6E.

The analyst notes that in the next 2-3 years, with Wi-Fi chips upgrading from 6E to 7 standard, it will be riskier for Apple to use its own modems aggressively due to these changes happening faster than the company can handle.

Early today, BGR reported that Barclays analysts also predict faster Wi-Fi for iPhone 15 models, although they also didn’t specify if all iPhone models or just the Pro version will get this improvement.

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.