Apple’s purchase of Intel’s smartphone modem division could finally pay off in 2023, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a report first published by MacRumors.
Kuo says that Apple’s first smartphones with its own custom 5G chips will launch in 2023 “at the earliest.” This means that Apple will likely continue to use Qualcomm modems in its smartphones for the next generation of iPhones.
“We predict that the iPhone will adopt Apple’s own-designed 5G baseband chips in 2023 at the earliest,” Kuo writes. “As Android sales in the high-end 5G phone market are slow, Qualcomm will be forced to compete for more orders in the low-end market to make up for Apple’s lost orders.”
Apple’s iPhone 12 series features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 modem and the 2021 version of the smartphone will likely feature the chipmaker’s X60 and X65 modems. Apple making the jump to its own 5G modem could improve battery life and likely reduce supply limitations, lowering the price of 5G modems.
In theory, this should make it cheaper for manufacturers of mid-range Android devices to equip their devices with Qualcomm 5G modems.