Apple Plans to Ditch Qualcomm Modem Chips Starting in 2025, Says Report

Apple is continuing on its path to more custom in-house chips, relying less on suppliers and moving even more vertically integrated. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported on Monday the iPhone maker plans to ditch Qualcomm’s modem chip by 2025, according to unnamed sources.

Instead, Apple will debut its own cellular modem by late 2024 or early 2025, allowing this new custom chip to be in the company’s devices such as the iPhone. Previously, Apple’s plans to use its own cellular modem were slated to begin in 2023, but development issues have delayed the launch.

The news means Qualcomm may begin to see its annual sales of almost $10 billion from the iPhone start to wane, as previously hinted by the former.

Apple continues to make custom chips beyond those for the Mac and iPad, known as Apple Silicon.

Sources tell Bloomberg Apple is already working on a second version of its modem chip that will also integrate Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as well.

Other Broadcom chips being used by Apple that may be on the chopping block? Those include radio-frequency (RF) chips and also wireless charging components, which Apple has been working on making its own versions, too.

Apple’s flagship iPhone models will use these new custom modems first and eventually transition away from Qualcomm over three years, the same timespan the Mac manufacturer stated for its Apple Silicon move.

A modem chip requires extensive testing as it must support the over 100 wireless carriers in over 175 nations, as it currently stands. Apple’s quest for its own custom modem started back in 2018 with a new office near Qualcomm’s headquarters in San Diego, California. Apple also acquired Intel’s smartphone modem arm for $1 billion in 2019 to help fast-track its custom chip.

Last week, it was rumoured that Apple had cancelled its 2024 iPhone SE 4, apparently because its custom modem would not work as well as Qualcomm’s.