Apple has extended its contractual agreement with Qualcomm to secure modems for its devices until 2026, according to a Bloomberg report. This extension implies a delay in Apple’s development of its custom 5G modem. The agreement covers smartphone releases scheduled for 2024, 2025, and 2026, as confirmed by Qualcomm’s statement.
Apple’s plan to create its own 5G modem has taken longer than expected. The company has been interested in developing its own modems since 2018, which was further solidified by its acquisition of the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem unit in 2019. Previous expectations suggested a launch window of 2023 or 2024 for the custom modem, but Bloomberg now suggests that it may take even longer.
While the renewed Qualcomm contract lasts until 2026, Apple still has the option to incorporate its proprietary modems in new models before that date. Qualcomm expects to maintain a 20% share in iPhone modem supplies by the time the 2026 iPhone is released, indicating that Apple’s transition to its own modems will be gradual.
Apple aims to achieve success with its custom 5G modem, similar to its achievements with Apple silicon. The focus will be on improving battery life and performance. However, progress has been slowed down by challenges such as optimizing battery life and navigating regulatory certification procedures.
In conclusion, Apple has extended its contract with Qualcomm, indicating a delay in the development of its custom 5G modem. While Apple aims to transition to its own modems, the process will be gradual, and Qualcomm modems are expected to still be present in some iPhones. The company is focusing on improving battery life and performance with its custom modem, but there have been challenges along the way.