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Apple’s Plans for In-House 5G Modem Reportedly Put on Indefinite Hold

Apple’s current lineup of iPhones, including the latest iPhone 15 series, relies on Qualcomm’s 5G modems, a partnership set to continue until 2026 following a recent agreement. However, earlier rumors were suggesting that the iPhone SE 4 would be the pioneer in adopting Apple’s internally developed 5G modem chip to replace Qualcomm, but that might not happen after all if the latest rumor holds ground.

According to a somewhat uncertain report, Apple might shelve its plans for an in-house 5G modem chip due to challenges in the development process, as indicated by leaker yeux1122 (via Apple Insider). The report, translated, mentions that Apple is “reorganizing” its development efforts.
Tech_Reve, another leaker, echoed this sentiment on Twitter/X, citing “multiple sources.” However, the lack of specificity regarding these sources raises questions about the credibility of the information. Tech_Reve suggests that the in-house modem might not be integrated into the upcoming iPhone SE 4 or any subsequent models, anticipating a complete abandonment.
Apple’s journey in developing its 5G modem chip has been a rocky one. Shortly after the agreement with Qualcomm, reports surfaced about the challenges Apple faced—such as the size of the initial in-house 5G modem, which reportedly occupied half of the iPhone’s internal space. Additionally, concerns were raised about its speed and tendency to overheat.
Over five years ago, Apple signaled its intention to develop its own modem by recruiting engineers in Qualcomm’s hometown, San Diego. This move coincided with a legal dispute over modem royalties between Apple and Qualcomm.

So, if this latest report holds true, it would be a surprising turn of events considering the time and resources Apple invested in this project, including the billion-dollar acquisition from Intel.

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