Apple Designing 5G iPhone Antenna Module In-House After Being Dissatisfied With Qualcomm's Version

PickUrPoison

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Just like Apple tries to screw every last penny out of their customers, it's horrible when the shoes on the other foot 🤣
So that’s why Apple replaced the 15” MBP with the 16” MBP and increased the size of the SSD, while keeping the price at $2,399—after the resident Apple-hate crowd was sure it would be priced some where between $3,000-4,000 (or higher).

Or why they dropped the price from the XR’s $749 to $699 for the iPhone 11. Introduced a $329 iPad. Dropped HomePod to $299. Cut the Air from $1,199 to $1,099. Dropped the price of the higher capacity SSD configs 🙄
 
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kiensoy

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Feb 6, 2008
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The iPhone 4, for example, had an antenna design that resulted in dropped calls and other problems when the iPhone was held in a way that covered the antennas.
What is this non-sense you are talking about? Apple had a press conference saying it was all normal and you guys reported it was all fine. /s
 

haunebu

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Jun 2, 2004
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Apple, with no experience (much less expertise) in developing enormously complex and cutting-edge 5G components? LOL... good luck with this one!

I suspect this is Fake News.
 
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Phillyfinest89

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Jul 26, 2013
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Agreed. The old saying, never buy a first gen apple product!
Not just Apple.
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Apple is designing the antenna module that will be used in its 5G iPhones in-house because it was unhappy with the version that Qualcomm designed, reports Fast Company, citing a source with knowledge of Apple's plans.

Apple reportedly "balked" at the design of the QTM 525 5G millimeter-wave antenna module offered by Qualcomm because it "doesn't fit into the sleek industrial design Apple wants for the new phone."


Qualcomm will still provide the 5G modem chip used in the new iPhones, but the antenna module will be developed by Apple.

Apple is, however, working on another design that uses both the Qualcomm modem and the Qualcomm antenna as a backup, so Apple does have the option to swap over to a version of the iPhone that uses both Qualcomm components, but if forced to do so, Apple will need to release a slightly thicker iPhone.

As Fast Company points out, Apple has run into problems with antennas designed in-house before. The iPhone 4, for example, had an antenna design that resulted in dropped calls and other problems when the iPhone was held in a way that covered the antennas. Fast Company's source says that another recent Apple antenna design "required twice as much power as comparable antennas to produce the same amount of radio signal."

Creating 5G antennas for mmWave networks is harder than creating other kinds of antennas because they send and receive higher frequency signals, leaving less room for error. 5G performance is also reliant on the antenna design.

The 2020 iPhones equipped with 5G will use a "phased array" antenna with two parts that work together to form a beam of radio signal, as described by Fast Company, which could lead to issues if the antenna and modem module are made by different companies.Apple reportedly wants to use its own antennas both because of design reasons and because Apple wants as few Qualcomm parts in the iPhone as possible. Fast Company's source suggests that Apple continues to feel it is "getting screwed on royalties" by Qualcomm.

Rumors have suggested that Apple is working on developing its own modem chips for use in future iPhones, but that technology is not ready yet, and until it is, Apple is reliant on Qualcomm's 5G modem chips. Apple purchased Intel's modem chip business after Intel exited the mobile modem chip development market, which could speed up Apple's work on developing its own chip technology.


Apple is expected to release multiple 5G capable iPhones in 2020 that are equipped with Qualcomm's X55 5G modem chip that offers 7Gb/s peak download speeds and 3Gb/s upload speeds. For more on what to expect in the 2020 iPhones, make sure to check out our roundup.

Article Link: Apple Designing 5G iPhone Antenna Module In-House After Being Dissatisfied With Qualcomm's Version
Pretty sure they won’t let the iPhone 4 problem come back to light.
 
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PickUrPoison

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Funny that people are still whining about the 2010 iPhone 4 antenna design. A decade isn’t long enough to get over it? How long does it take? 15 years? 20 years? 😂
It’s still on the list of talking points they get in the on-boarding email 🤣

It’s also good to remember that other phones had similar issues depending on how they were held as well.
 

jecowa

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Mar 15, 2006
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Apple, with no experience (much less expertise) in developing enormously complex and cutting-edge 5G components? LOL... good luck with this one!

I suspect this is Fake News.
This fake news was created to help Apple get a better deal from Qualcomm? Apple seems pretty good at improving ARM chip designs, but I kind of doubt that they can do better than Qualcomm without infringing on their patents.
 

deconstruct60

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Funny that people are still whining about the 2010 iPhone 4 antenna design. A decade isn’t long enough to get over it? How long does it take? 15 years? 20 years? 😂
Bending Phones followed by bending iPad Pros.

"Thinned out hinges " lead to problematical MBP implementations.

Apple takes 3 years to fix the keyboard issues.

Airpower ...

Customers aren't likely going to "get over it" if Apple doesn't learn something from it.

Apple's criteria here is not that Qualcomm's antenna isn't effective, performant , or functional. Nope... just that it is too "fat".

It doesn't take huge , super thick obstructions to dimmish mmWave signal..... and yet Apple is somehow going to do more with less. ( or even equal with less ). mmWave isn't super fragile, but it isn't super flexible where can piss away performance by antenna design not primarily driven by antenna design functionality.
 

cmaier

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Apple, with no experience (much less expertise) in developing enormously complex and cutting-edge 5G components? LOL... good luck with this one!

I suspect this is Fake News.
Um, hardly anyone has “experience” developing cutting-edge 5G components.
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Apple's criteria here is not that Qualcomm's antenna isn't effective, performant , or functional. Nope... just that it is too "fat".
According to some random rumor, sure.
 

deconstruct60

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Mar 10, 2009
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Apple, with no experience (much less expertise) in developing enormously complex and cutting-edge 5G components? LOL... good luck with this one!
Just about finished paying $1B for some expertise in this area.

https://www.macrumors.com/2019/12/02/apple-intel-modem-deal-completed/

This may be a bit of "back seat driving" as Qualcomm has way more experience with their modem than some 3rd party company would. But Apple has practically nobody in house to provide guidance here ... that is closer to "fake news" than this story.

P.S. Reportedly Apple had acquired expertise in house that told them that AirPower would have problems and they ignored it. Apple may not listen to "newbies".... especially where trying to counterbalance some "thinner" edict from the industrial design politburo.

P.P.S. given the logistical hiccups posed by cornavirus , this late in the game running another forked thinner vanity project seems somewhat reckless. If the Qualcomm design is working and effective ... running off into the swamp probably is somewhat more risky ( and somewhat likely to get someone to possibly leak that move in a bid to nudge higher ups to not go down that rabbit hole. )
 
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PickUrPoison

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<snip>
It doesn't take huge , super thick obstructions to dimmish mmWave signal..... and yet Apple is somehow going to do more with less. ( or even equal with less ). mmWave isn't super fragile, but it isn't super flexible where can piss away performance by antenna design not primarily driven by antenna design functionality.
Apple is aware. But Apple’s not necessarily redesigning the antennas themselves, it’s possibly some other Qualcomm RF front end component that they want to have a lower profile. The QTM 525 already supports <8mm designs so I’m not so sure it’s the antenna module that’s the issue.

Qualcomm’s been pushing customers to buy not only the baseband modem from them but their RF front end as well. Apple has options.
 
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Kabeyun

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VirnetX’s lawyers are salivating already.

Apple, with no experience (much less expertise) in developing enormously complex and cutting-edge 5G components? LOL... good luck with this one!

I suspect this is Fake News.
I suspect this is what people were saying when Apple brought A-series SoC design in house.
 
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citysnaps

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Good. It's never too early to move dependency away from Qualcomm.
Absolutely. Apparently Apple didn't like their design, and decided to create their own. They have the talent.
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Funny that people are still whining about the 2010 iPhone 4 antenna design. A decade isn’t long enough to get over it? How long does it take? 15 years? 20 years? 😂
It's when the perpetually unhappy can't find anything else to get steamed about over Apple.
 

jdclifford

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So that’s why Apple replaced the 15” MBP with the 16” MBP and increased the size of the SSD, while keeping the price at $2,399—after the resident Apple-hate crowd was sure it would be priced some where between $3,000-4,000 (or higher).

Or why they dropped the price from the XR’s $749 to $699 for the iPhone 11. Introduced a $329 iPad. Dropped HomePod to $299. Cut the Air from $1,199 to $1,099. Dropped the price of the higher capacity SSD configs 🙄
Apple drops prices for 1 reason only: to sell overpriced products.
 
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PickUrPoison

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Apple drops prices for 1 reason only: to sell overpriced products.
Sure lower prices will sell more units. Every company knows that, and they all try to price based on what the market will bear. No one deliberately leaves money on the table.

That isn’t the same as OP’s contention that “Apple tries to screw every last penny out of their customers”. Apple’s customer satisfaction rates are very high. That doesn’t happen when customers are getting screwed.

It’s true Apple’s products are high priced. But they’re not overpriced, are they? There’s a big difference.
 

deconstruct60

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Mar 10, 2009
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Apple is aware. But Apple’s not necessarily redesigning the antennas themselves, it’s possibly some other Qualcomm RF front end component that they want to have a lower profile. The QTM 525 already supports <8mm designs so I’m not so sure it’s the antenna module that’s the issue.

Qualcomm’s been pushing customers to buy not only the baseband modem from them but their RF front end as well. Apple has options.
Apple may be tweaking the physical antennas also.


(Apple moving the easier and cheaper solution. That could be thrown on top of thinner. )


Qualcomm pushing to get products to market faster..

"... The new system solution is engineered to assist OEMs with accelerating time-to-launch, improving performance, supporting an increasing number of frequency bands and lowering development effort for building 5G mobile devices. ..."

Yes that means they get a bigger pie of the pie but Apple is like the pot calling the kettle black. If they stick in their own cheaper solution, the price of the iPhone isn't going to come down at all. That is just more money for the Scrooge McDuck money pit.

Similarly, Apple's RF management module side by side design with the Qualcomm RF module and no info leaks back to the Apple module sides in testing ? ( probably not ). Apple is likely going to be tip toeing around blatant IP appropriation, but also doing some reverse engineering also.
 

PickUrPoison

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Apple may be tweaking the physical antennas also.


(Apple moving the easier and cheaper solution. That could be thrown on top of thinner. )


Qualcomm pushing to get products to market faster..

"... The new system solution is engineered to assist OEMs with accelerating time-to-launch, improving performance, supporting an increasing number of frequency bands and lowering development effort for building 5G mobile devices. ..."

Yes that means they get a bigger pie of the pie but Apple is like the pot calling the kettle black. If they stick in their own cheaper solution, the price of the iPhone isn't going to come down at all. That is just more money for the Scrooge McDuck money pit.

Similarly, Apple's RF management module side by side design with the Qualcomm RF module and no info leaks back to the Apple module sides in testing ? ( probably not ). Apple is likely going to be tip toeing around blatant IP appropriation, but also doing some reverse engineering also.
1) The article you cited said modified-pi only for 2019, then back to LCP for the 2020 5G models.

2) There are no issues with IP, and no need to reverse engineer. Apple has licensed Qualcomm’s full portfolio.
 
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V_Man

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Customers have the choices to buy something else they want. Apple has to buy from Qualcomm because it has a near monopoly.
Apple does not have to buy from Qualcomm. They are free to design their own 5g modem. Apple chooses to buy from Qualcomm. Apple needs what Qualcomm offers for sale.
 
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