Apple’s custom-designed 5G cellular modem will likely debut in all 2023 iPhone models, according to Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Thomas O’Malley. In a supplier-focused research note shared with MacRumors, the analysts said chipmakers Qorvo and Broadcom should be among the companies that benefit from the shift to Apple’s in-house solution.
Fast Company’s Mark Sullivan and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman are among several sources who have reported that Apple is working on its own modem for future iPhones. Apple reportedly began development of the modem in 2020, after acquiring the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business a year earlier to bolster its efforts. Barclays previously said the modem will support both sub-6GHz and mmWave bands of 5G, as to be expected.
Apple currently uses Qualcomm modems, including the Snapdragon X55 modem in iPhone 12 models. In 2019, a legal settlement between Apple and Qualcomm revealed that Apple will likely use the Snapdragon X60 modem in 2021 iPhones, followed by the Snapdragon X65 modem in 2022 iPhones. The roadmap did mention the possibility of 2023 iPhones using an unannounced Snapdragon X70 modem, but this now appears less likely.
Apple’s modem would likely be manufactured by its longtime chipmaking partner TSMC.