iPhone 16 to Use Apple’s Own 5G Modems, Says Qualcomm CEO

Apple could make the long-rumoured switch to its own 5G modems for the iPhone with 2024’s iPhone 16 line, according to comments made by Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (via CNBC).

Up until now, Apple has sourced cellular modems for the iPhone from Qualcomm. Last year’s iPhone 14 series even included a satellite modem from the American chipmaker.

However, that’s been expected to change ever since Apple reportedly assembled an in-house modem engineering team in 2019 and acquired the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business later that same year.

“We’re making no plans for 2024, my planning assumption is we’re not providing [Apple] a modem in ’24, but it’s their decision to make,” Amon told CNBC.

Apple was originally expected to ditch Qualcomm cellular modems for its own as early as this year, but the company’s custom chips aren’t ready just yet. Instead, the entirety of this year’s iPhone 15 lineup is expected to use Qualcomm 5G modems.

Talking to CNBC‘s Karen Tso and Arjun Kharpal, Amon said his company informed investors back in 2021 that it did not expect to provide modems for the iPhone in 2023, but Apple later decided to continue sourcing from Qualcomm for another year.

It remains to be seen if Apple will push back its timeline again. Amon’s comments contradict a report from renowned Apple oracle Mark Gurman earlier this year, which suggested Apple wouldn’t transition to its own modems until 2025 because of development delays.

Even after Apple switches to its own 5G modems, the tech giant may still owe Qualcomm royalties. While Amon did not confirm whether Apple would need to continue paying Qualcomm QTL licenses if it starts using its own modems, he noted that royalties were “independent from providing a chip.”

P.S. - Like our news? Support the site: become a Patreon subscriber. Or shop with our Amazon link, or buy us a coffee! We use affiliate links when possible--thanks for supporting independent media.