While the first 5G Android smartphones arrived in 2019, Apple didn’t launch its first 5G iPhones until late 2020. This is due to the fact that the Cupertino company was in conflict with Qualcomm and was therefore unable to source it. 5G modems from this company. To solve this problem, Apple first had to negotiate a billion dollar peace with this supplier.
At the same time, the Cupertino company intends to develop its own 5G modems in order to no longer be dependent on Qualcomm. When Intel decided to give up the 5G modem market for cell phones, Apple bought its subsidiary that specialized in this technology.
“We have worked with Intel for many years and we know they share Apple’s passion for building technologies that deliver the best global experiences to our users,” said Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technologies. “Apple is excited to have so many great engineers join our growing group of wireless technologies and knows they will thrive in Apple’s creative and dynamic environment. These solutions, coupled with the significant acquisition of innovative intellectual property rights, will help accelerate our development of future products and enable Apple to stand out even more. “”
This year, the company also announced a major investment in Germany to develop its next technologies for 5G there.
Apple is giving itself the means, but it will take time
So essentially Apple is well on its way to developing its own modems and no longer depends on other companies like Qualcomm. However, it will likely be a long time before the first iPhones hit the market with 5G modems from Apple instead of Qualcomm.
In an article published this weekend, the MacRumours website passed on a note allegedly penned by analyst Ming Chi Kuo. And in that note, he would predict that the earliest (so it could be even longer) the iPhone will adopt the 5G baseband chips developed by Apple in 2023.
As a reminder, the license agreement signed by Apple and Qualcomm in 2019 that allows iPhones to purchase 5G modems is valid for six years.
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