Like most major companies selling phones within the US, Apple relies on Qualcomm for the wireless modems it uses in its latest iPhones. Consistent with a replacement investor note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, however, which will change as soon as 2023.
In the note, which MacRumors saw, Kuo says that Apple may switch to using its wireless chips with the launch of the 2023 iPhones. Kuo says that the switch from Qualcomm to in-house baseband chips would happen in two years “at the earliest,” with MacRumors noting that Apple is predicted to continue using Qualcomm’s wireless chips within the interim for brand spanking new devices just like the rumored iPhone 13.
Apple has long been rumored to be developing its modem division because it seeks to regulate more of the parts that structure its devices. In July 2019, the corporate paid $1 billion to accumulate Intel’s modem business after the chipmaker announced plans to go away from the modem market. Earlier that year, Apple also settled a licensing dispute with Qualcomm, giving it the power to use Qualcomm’s modems in its wireless products.
Per a court document from the Apple and Qualcomm settlement (also spotted by MacRumors), 2021 5G Apple products are expected to use Qualcomm’s updated X60 chips, while the 2022 products are said to use the X65 chipset. The document claims that 2023 products will use either the X65 modem or the unannounced X70, but given the new report from Kuo on Monday, those plans may change.
Apple didn’t immediately answer an invitation for comment.