Report: Apple's In-House 5G Modem May Not Be Ready Until 2023

It’s not a secret at this point that manufacturers are pushing to get 5G modems onto their smartphones. While Apple skipped the 5G bandwagon this year, there are multiple hints that it will offer a 5G iPhone by next year. However, the 5G modem on this iPhone will come from Qualcomm, which is the only company that supplies the 5G modem to mobile manufacturers. Naturally, Apple is also deep at work to design its own custom 5G modem. Previous reports have indicated that Apple was looking to launch this modem by 2021, which was then pushed to 2022.

A new report by Fast Company now mentions that this may be an unrealistic estimate on part of Apple given the amount of work and regulatory hurdles it has to go through before bringing its own 5G modem to the market. The site reports that a more realistic estimate will be sometime around 2023, so we’re still some distance away from seeing an iPhone with Apple’s custom 5G modem.

It is worth mentioning that Apple recently acquired Intel’s modem business, which many expected would speed up the process of building a custom 5G modem. However, despite the expertise and money at its disposal, Apple may have to use Qualcomm’s 5G modem for the next few iPhones. Most recent iPhones, including the iPhone 11 Pro come with an Intel made modem.

For those unaware, Apple has signed a six-year agreement with Qualcomm for the supply of 5G modems beginning with the 2020 iPhone. Apple also has an option to extend the agreement, which should give the company some breathing room should the custom 5G modem project take more time to roll out.

Via: Fast Company