Apple has announced that it will continue to rely on Qualcomm’s 5G modem-RF chips for its iPhones until 2026. This means that the upcoming iPhone 16, as well as the subsequent iPhone 17 and 18, will use Qualcomm-made modems instead of Apple’s custom chips.
There were previous rumors that Apple was developing its own custom 5G chips, which it planned to integrate into future iPhones. It was even speculated that the 2024 iPhone 16 would be the first to feature Apple’s own radio chip, replacing Qualcomm’s modems.
However, a recent press release from Qualcomm has confirmed that they have signed a new deal with Apple to supply the company with its RF modems. The partnership will last for a period of three years, from 2024 to 2026. This suggests that the iPhone 16 will indeed be equipped with Qualcomm’s 5G modems, contradicting the earlier rumors.
It is currently unclear what will happen once the deal between Apple and Qualcomm expires. However, it is likely that Apple will eventually introduce its own custom modems for iPhones, as well as potentially expanding their use to other devices such as iPads and Apple Watches.
In the meantime, Apple is set to unveil the iPhone 15 range today, which is expected to feature Qualcomm’s modem-RF system based on the Snapdragon X75 series. Unlike most Android smartphones, the modem in Apple’s iPhones is discreetly installed and separate from the main chipset.
What do you think? Would it be beneficial for Apple to have its own custom modem on its devices? We would love to hear your opinion on this matter.