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Report: iPhone 15 to still feature Qualcomm 5G modem

Published Dec 21st, 2022 6:46AM EST
iPhone 12 5G
Image: Apple Inc.

Apple really wants to build its in-house 5G modem to integrate it with upcoming iPhone models. Still, a report suggests that the Cupertino firm is not near to making this happen, as the next iPhone 15 series will also use Qualcomm’s 5G modem.

According to DigiTimes (via MacRumors), the iPhone 15 series is rumored to feature Qualcomm’s X70 chip, which features AI capabilities for “faster average speeds, improved coverage, better signal quality, lower latency, and up to 60% improved power efficiency.” Currently, the iPhone 14 line uses the Snapdragon X65 modem, focused on improving 5G speeds and battery life.

The report says that TSMC will be the leading supplier of Qualcomm’s 5G modems for the iPhone 15 series and will include 5nm and 4nm processes.

What happened to Apple’s custom 5G modem?

Early this year, it was believed that Apple would make the push to its in-house 5G modems as early as 2023 for the iPhone 15 series. In June, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the Cupertino firm had hit a roadblock as he wrote Apple’s efforts had “failed.”

At the time, he said, “Qualcomm will remain the exclusive supplier for 5G chips” for all iPhone models in 2023. Kuo believes Apple will continue to develop its own 5G chips. Still, by the time the company “succeeds and can replace Qualcomm, Qualcomm’s other new businesses should have grown enough to significantly offset the negative impacts caused by the order loss of iPhone 5G chips.”

That said, Apple will have to continue relying on Qualcomm as it’s unclear what roadblock the company hit while mass-producing its custom 5G modems. As the Cupertino firm praises hardware and software integration, dominating the creation of this chip will improve battery life and cellular speeds for users in the long run.

BGR will report once we learn more about Apple’s development.

José Adorno
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 American broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.