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Nikkei: Apple wants custom modems in its 2023 iPhone lineup

By Roland Udvarlaki November 25, 2021, 1:15 pm
Apple 5G modem in iPhones Source: Pocketnow

Apple has been rumored to be working on its own chipset for a few years to move away from its strong reliance on Qualcomm modems. According to a new report, Apple is close to finishing up its project, and it may be planning to release an iPhone in 2023 that might have an Apple-made custom modem inside.

The report comes from Nikkei Asia, suggesting that Apple may finally start using its custom-built 5G modems in 2023. The new modems will be built on TSMC’s 4nm process, and the flagship iPhones are rumored to have them, alongside other Apple components, such as a new A-series chipset.

This isn’t the first time we hear news about Apple developing its own chipset, and the rumor has been circling around ever since the Apple vs Qualcomm patent issue. As a counter measurement to prepare Apple for the challenges, it purchased a majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business back in 2018, which likely helped accelerate the project’s development.

Since the incident, Apple has stepped up its modem and chipset business, and started focusing more on Apple-made silicon, and clearly, Apple wants to build everything in-house, and have control over the entire product, not just certain parts and the software. This strategy seems to work out in favor of Apple, and the new M1 Pro and M1 Max powered MacBook Pro devices are some of the fastest and most powerful laptops on the market today, beating many powerful desktop computers on a lot of benchmarks.

It’s important to mention that building smartphone modems is a very challenging task. The modem inside the iPhones will have to support a wide variety of communication protocols, including many 3G, 4G, and 5G standards.

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