Report: Apple Is Aiming To Launch Its Own 5G Modem For iPhones In 2022

By Amit Chowdhry ● October 14, 2019
  • According to a Fast Company report, Apple is reportedly aiming to launch its own 5G modem for iPhones within the next few years

A few months ago, Apple reportedly acquired Intel’s 5G modem business for a reported $1 billion. And now Apple is reportedly hustling to implement 5G modems into its iPhones by the year 2022.

This timeline is ambitious since the company has to go through development and testing within the next 3 years, according to Fast Company senior writer Mark Sullivan.

As of right now, Qualcomm is supplying Apple with modems for the iPhone. And Qualcomm is expected to be the supplier of the first iPhone 5G next year. But Apple may want to reduce its dependence on Qualcomm as the two companies previously filed intense patent lawsuits against each other before settling earlier this year. And Apple is better able to make its devices more power-efficient when it builds chips internally.

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Since this is the first time Apple is building a modem of its own, the completion of the project may not happen until 2023. Before Apple worked with Qualcomm for modems, Intel supplied modems for the iPhone between 2016 and last year. But Intel reportedly missed Apple’s deadlines and decided to sell the operations instead of maintaining the demanding contract.

In an interview with Digital Trends last month, Qualcomm President Cristiano R. Amon said that the deal with Apple is multi-year. Amon pointed out in the interview that it would take Apple a while to make its own 5G modems.

The acquisition of Intel’s 5G modem business included thousands of wireless technology patents and 2,200 talented employees. The goal is likely to design an Apple system on a chip (SoC) where a modem would be integrated with Apple’s processor.

Fast Company’s sources suggested that Apple Wireless SoC lead Esin Terzioglu is likely heading up the 5G development at the company. Terzioglu was previously a VP of Engineering at Qualcomm and was the CTO, CFO, and co-founder of Novelics. After studying electrical engineering at Stanford, Terzioglu started his career as a principal scientist at Broadcom.