Fri. Sep 29th, 2023
Qualcomm to Continue Supplying Apple with Snapdragon 5G Modems Until 2026

Qualcomm has announced that it will extend its agreement to supply Apple with Snapdragon 5G modems until 2026. The deal, which was originally set to expire this year, ensures that Apple will still rely on Qualcomm for its modem chips in the next few generations of iPhones.

Although no specific iPhone models have been mentioned, Qualcomm has stated that the agreement will cover smartphone launches in 2024, 2025, and 2026. This suggests that Apple is facing further delays in developing its own in-house 5G modem chips.

Despite the extended agreement, Apple is still planning to gradually introduce its custom chip within the next three years. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman believes that even though Qualcomm will continue to supply the majority of modem chips for Apple phones, Apple’s own chip will be gradually rolled out during this period.

By 2026, Qualcomm expects to supply 20 percent of the modem chips used in Apple phones, which was the original assumption for 2023 when the deal was first signed in 2019.

Apple has been working on its own custom 5G modem chip for some time. In 2019, the company acquired a major portion of Intel’s smartphone modem business after settling a patent licensing lawsuit with Qualcomm. It was also reportedly in discussions with chipmaking giant TSMC to produce 5G iPhone modems in 2021.

However, it is worth noting that Huawei may have beaten Apple in the race to produce homegrown 5G technology. The new Mate 60 handset from Huawei is said to be powered by a Chinese-made Kirin 9000s chip, despite facing export restrictions due to US-led sanctions.

In conclusion, Qualcomm’s extended agreement to supply Apple with Snapdragon 5G modems until 2026 suggests that Apple’s in-house modem chip development may face further delays.