Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
59,280
23,257


Qualcomm is preparing for the launch of Apple's own modem chips, which will cut into Qualcomm's modem business starting in 2023. At today's Investor Day event, Qualcomm CFO Akash Palkhiwala said that Qualcomm expects to supply just 20 percent of Apple's modem chips in 2023.

Apple-5G-Modem-Feature-Triad.jpg

If that's an accurate estimate, it means that 2022 will be the last year that Qualcomm enjoys a modem monopoly in iPhone devices. Apple has been working on in-house modem chips for years now, and prior rumors have indeed suggested that Apple's chips will be ready to launch in 2023.

Back in May, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple's 5G baseband chips could debut in the 2023 iPhone models, which is in line with Qualcomm's expectations. Should this occur, Apple will likely use its own chips in most regions, but rely on Qualcomm for chips in certain areas. Qualcomm said that this is just a "planning assumption for forecast purposes," but it appears the company is counting on a 2023 launch.

qualcomm-iphone-modem-2023.jpg
The assumption we use for this forecast is that for Apple 2023 launch, our share is down to 20%. This is a planning assumption for the forecast purposes. Just to be clear, there is no new data point that makes us do this forecast versus our discussions in the past. We just wanted to set a base for this forecast, and so we've used that as a planning assumption.
Apple tried to transition away from Qualcomm chips once before following a heated legal battle between the two companies. Apple wanted Intel to supply its 5G chips for the iPhone 12 models, but Intel could not meet Apple's expectations.

In 2019, Apple and Qualcomm settled their legal issues and Apple agreed to a multi-year partnership because it had no other place to get the appropriate chips it needed for its devices. Apple also began work on its own in-house modem chips with the aim of eventually getting away from Qualcomm, with Apple purchasing Intel's modem chip business to get a head start.

Article Link: Qualcomm Expecting to Supply Just 20% of 2023 iPhone Modems As Apple Prepares to Launch Its Own Chips
 
  • Like
Reactions: KurtWilde

jz0309

macrumors 604
Sep 25, 2018
6,621
17,846
SoCal
That s some odd statements by a CFO, and it’s a planning assumption, so a prep statement for investors which will come to fruition sooner or later.
I just don’t see Apple jumping full into their own modems hastily, there’s got to be a pipe cleaner, there is just no Apple modem running in the real world yet.
Yes, Apple has experience in SOC but modes are a different class of chips…
 

loekf

macrumors 6502a
Mar 23, 2015
805
526
Nijmegen, The Netherlands
That s some odd statements by a CFO, and it’s a planning assumption, so a prep statement for investors which will come to fruition sooner or later.
I just don’t see Apple jumping full into their own modems hastily, there’s got to be a pipe cleaner, there is just no Apple modem running in the real world yet.
Yes, Apple has experience in SOC but modes are a different class of chips…

Remember they bought a part of Intel, which used to be Infineon/Siemens, so they are not starting from scratch with cellular modems. Yes, RF is tricky, but you if you (still) have the right people.

PS: why would Qualcomm still supply 20% ? I see no technical reasons. TD-SCDMA in China is R.I.P., same for CDMA2000 in the US.
 
  • Like
Reactions: windowsblowsass

makitango

macrumors 6502
Apr 15, 2012
343
559
Remember they bought a part of Intel, which used to be Infineon/Siemens, so they are not starting from scratch with cellular modems. Yes, RF is tricky, but you if you (still) have the right people.

PS: why would Qualcomm still supply 20% ? I see no technical reasons. TD-SCDMA in China is R.I.P., same for CDMA2000 in the US.
Legacy iPhone models are still being produced as per the contracts that they hold. That should warrant the 20 %.
 

xxray

macrumors 68020
Jul 27, 2013
2,453
6,831
I wonder if Apple will treat this as a product differentiator or if it will simply not mention it during new iPhone + iPad presentations
 

jz0309

macrumors 604
Sep 25, 2018
6,621
17,846
SoCal
Remember they bought a part of Intel, which used to be Infineon/Siemens, so they are not starting from scratch with cellular modems. Yes, RF is tricky, but you if you (still) have the right people.

PS: why would Qualcomm still supply 20% ? I see no technical reasons. TD-SCDMA in China is R.I.P., same for CDMA2000 in the US.
yes, I know that they got intel people and patents, still, if they release say an iPad with Apple modem in 2022 and gain a years world of experience, then I can see that happening.

Why 20%?, cause apple still sell/manufactures older iPhones, eg, you can still buy iPhone 11 or 12 now ...
 

bushman4

macrumors 68040
Mar 22, 2011
3,686
1,745
Qualcomm shot itself in the leg with the legal battle with Apple
Yes Qualcomm makes other stuff besides 5G modems but is it enough to make up for the $$$$ it lost with Apple? Time will tell
 

Mr Lizard

macrumors regular
Jan 26, 2006
107
114
London, UK
That s some odd statements by a CFO, and it’s a planning assumption, so a prep statement for investors which will come to fruition sooner or later.
I just don’t see Apple jumping full into their own modems hastily, there’s got to be a pipe cleaner, there is just no Apple modem running in the real world yet.
Yes, Apple has experience in SOC but modes are a different class of chips…
Why is that an odd statement? It’s widely reported that Apple has been working on modems for years. There’s no ‘hastiness’ about it.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.