Tech 17 Apr
Apple’s decision of buying Intel’s 5G smartphone modem business back in July was apparently made to reduce its dependence on Qualcomm. But this process needs a good amount of time to nurture and finally become a reality. It was already known that Apple can't bring its in-house 5G modem shortly due to so many reasons, including the fact that the complete transaction is yet to be made. Now, a new report echoes the same situation but also puts a tentative year during which Apple could come up with its in-house 5G solution.
According to a report from FastCompany citing a source with knowledge, Apple is planning to launch iPhones with its own 5G modems by 2022. Also, throwing some light on the agreement built between Apple and Qualcomm, the 2020 iPhone will likely feature Qualcomm-made 5G modems and this may continue in 2021 as well, but by 2022, Apple will cut down its dependency on Qualcomm for the 5G modems.
Apparently, Intel’s smartphone modem business that Apple acquired this July will help the company come up with its own 5G solutions.
However, the source also believes that 2022 could be too early to expect the 5G modem from Apple. “Bringing a new modem to the finish line in two years is really pushing it.” That’s why the source believes that 2023 looks a more realistic completion date.
The modem will need to pass through some strenuous testing and certification process to prove its worth. For instance, Apple will have to put the modem through network optimization testing to make sure it works well with the carriers’ wireless networks. Furthermore, it must go through some vigorous tests with global standards and undergo some other tests to fulfill FCC requirements. In a nutshell, there’s a whole lot of work and tests that a new modem has to undergo before going into a smartphone and unlock some new possibilities.
However, it also seems likely that to meet the tight 2022 deadline, Apple may choose to make its first 5G modem to be a stand-alone chip, and then integrate it into an SoC the following year, which is 2023.