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The iPhone 14 Pro displayed during a launch event at Apple Park in Cupertino, California, on September 7, 2022. Photo: Agence France-Presse

Apple’s iPhones to still run on Qualcomm 5G modems in 2023 amid setbacks with in-house designs

  • Qualcomm will continue to provide the modem chips for the ‘vast majority’ of iPhones after concern that Apple would drop the chip maker for in-house designs
  • Apple’s efforts on its own 5G modem have been stymied by prototype versions that are overheating, pushing back the planned switch
Qualcomm will continue to provide the modem chips for the “vast majority” of iPhones in 2023, a turnabout for a company that had expected to lose the business to Apple Inc’s home-grown components.

Qualcomm had planned to only provide about 20 per cent of the 5G modem parts for the new iPhones in 2023, but now expects to retain its current foothold, according to comments that accompanied its earnings report on Wednesday. The statement confirmed that Apple will not be moving to its own in-house modem design for next year’s models.

Since settling a lawsuit with Qualcomm in 2019 and agreeing to use that company’s technology inside iPhones for the foreseeable future, Apple went to work on building its own cellular modem, Bloomberg News has reported. Apple’s chip development chief told staff in 2020 that development of the part was under way.

Chinese smart cockpit chips are no rivals to Qualcomm devices

But earlier this year, Bloomberg News reported that Apple’s efforts have been stymied by prototype versions of the modems overheating and that the company wouldn’t begin a switch until 2024 at the earliest. Qualcomm continues to assume it will only receive minimal revenue contributions from Apple in fiscal 2025.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The reprieve provided little comfort to Qualcomm investors. The company is grappling with a broader slump in smartphone demand and delivered a far weaker forecast than expected. The shares slid as much as 8.4 per cent in late trading.