Apple is busy developing its own 5 G modem, but by 2025 it won’t be prepared. Apple will need to use Qualcomm 5 G modems until then.
The frustration of Apple with Intel
This can be read in a comprehensive article from The Information, which also gives some insight into Apple’s frustration over Intel’s advancement. Apple had to depend on Intel’s modem chips during the war with Qualcomm, but this cooperation did not always go smoothly. Intel would have been completed by Johny Srouji, who is liable for constructing chips at Apple. Apple was working on the next generation of iPhones at the beginning of 2017, but the Intel XMM 7560 modem wasn’t working at all, say, insiders. It was the first time Apple had been totally dependent on Intel for modem chips and it didn’t go very well.
Intel chip development was catastrophic
Intel is said to have restarted the modem four times as well as Qualcomm’s to make sure it executed. But every time there were no deadlines or fresh technical issues emerged. The Apple Summit became restless and Srouji would have shouted angrily at a conference: “Under my direction, this would never have occurred to Apple!
Because of all the trouble at Intel, it now requires a lot longer to develop your own modem chips than expected. As a consequence, until 2025, Apple was unable to launch its own modem chips. There have been rumors about 2021 earlier. About a thousand engineers are said to have employed Apple. The team of Samsung is of the same size. It is, therefore, a complicated task to make such a chip that incorporates various wireless features.
Contract to 2025
It may also have another cause that Apple will not launch its own modem chip until 2025. Apple and Qualcomm have signed a six-year agreement that went into force in 2019, expiring in 2025. Apple has been able to use Qualcomm modems until then, with the choice of extending it two years later.
In other words: Apple can take a long time to create its own modem chips and new supply from Qualcomm is guaranteed until then. Intel continues to produce 5G modems in the meantime, but only for devices such as drones, vehicles, and robots, not smartphones. This division may eventually be sold by Intel.