Apple's 5G modem is going to debut sooner than expected, says Qualcomm CEO

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 2023
The 2023 iPhone 15 will be the last model with a Qualcomm 5G chip, if the modem supplier's CEO is right.




Apple has long been working on making its own 5G modem chipset to replace the ones it buys from Qualcomm. While there have been many rumors of when that will happen, previously it was confirmed that Qualcomm will continue for at least the next iPhone 15.

Now Qualcomm CEO and President Cristiano Amon has spoken publicly about when Apple will replace his company's product.

Interviewed on stage at Mobile World Congress 2023, Amon told the Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern that it will probably be soon. "[We] expect that Apple will do their own modem in 2024," he said, "but if they need ours they know where to find us."

At one point, Qualcomm was reported to have told its investors that it would be producing modems for only 20% of Apple's 2023 iPhone release. That later changed to being the "vast majority" of that range.

That change appears to have been because Apple failed to produce a 5G modem of its own in time.

Apple's intention to build its own 5G chipset dates back to 2019 when it acquired Intel's smartphone modem business, including the addition of 2,200 engineers. Ultimately, building its own means not having to pay a third-party company for the facility, but there are also other benefits.

For instance, Apple could produce different 5G modem chips for different devices. Consequently, a chip for the iPhone could priortize voice calls, where an iPad might be adjusted to speed up data transfers.

Apple does appear to have a 5G modem, or at least to have expected to have one shortly. It's rumored that one reason for the alleged cancellation of the iPhone SE 4 is that Apple intended to use its own 5G chip in it, and it was performing poorly compared to Qualcomm's version.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    Well, it had better be as good as or better than Qualcomm’s or the peanut gallery will be up in arms and throwing popcorn and beer cans all over the place.
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    lkrupp said:
    Well, it had better be as good as or better than Qualcomm’s or the peanut gallery will be up in arms and throwing popcorn and beer cans all over the place.
    I'm sure Apple knows the target they have to hit and they have the luxury of not coming to market until they have it right.  Also, I expect we'll see it integrated in to the SoC eventually for additional performance and efficiency. 
    bloggerblogStrangeDaysnarwhalFileMakerFellerlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 16
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,829member
    lkrupp said:
    Well, it had better be as good as or better than Qualcomm’s or the peanut gallery will be up in arms and throwing popcorn and beer cans all over the place.
    Would it be reasonable for Apple’s modem to be as good or better than Qualcomm's? 

    I doubt it. 

    Whatever Apple produces though, you'll have to swallow it and if it doesn't perform as well as competing modem/antenna combos, that's life.

    It wouldn't be the first time Apple has taken a step backwards on performance. 

    Theoretically, Apple could do what Huawei has been doing for years. Add to a standard to enhance performance of its own devices without impacting standards compliance. 

    That’s how Huawei was able to release WiFi 6 Plus through marrying its 5G know-how with its standards based Wi-Fi solutions. In that case they were using their own Wi-Fi and 5G solutions but I can see why Apple would want the same or similar options even if in basic 5G performance for example were a bit behind the curve. 

    Would that be enough to keep the beer cans at bay? 


  • Reply 4 of 16
    What I like about this most is that if true - it yet again demonstrates that analysts aren't any better than rumourmongers (or more cynically: stock price manipulators.)
    danoxFileMakerFellermattinozwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 16
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,052member
    Boom! Apple Iteration and innovation continues.

    Note: The Qualcomm CEO sounds like the CEO of Intel finally coming to the conclusion that Apple replacing them is inevitable.

    Buy more shares of Apple Computer, and in light of  what Qualcomm is doing with their Nuvia acquisition buy more shares of them too, you can never have enough blue chip tech stock particularly when companies are working on products that will help their long range future, that is why Appleinsider is a good source of information long before many of the analysts at Seeking Alpha or the mainstream tech sites can wrap their heads around the small print.

    Repost…. Below.

    Recently, there have been more rumors about Qualcomm, and Broadcom, in regards to modems and Wi-Fi type chips, and Apple, I think it’s nothing personal, just business, but Apple probably or is working on new devices or is iterating on existing devices, and that is the main motivation behind them leaving those two companies behind probably because they want to incorporate or make something smaller, how do you make everything fit in a pair of eyeglass frames? both those companies are happy to supply existing chips or are happy to collect money on patents from you, but they’re not gonna do the hard work to miniaturize anything for a new Apple device which is why Apple probably is looking to replace them in their designs.

    edited February 2023 narwhalwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 16
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,052member
    lkrupp said:
    Well, it had better be as good as or better than Qualcomm’s or the peanut gallery will be up in arms and throwing popcorn and beer cans all over the place.
    Doesn’t need to be all it needs to be is 98%, the importance of rolling your old modem is being able to build your devices the way you want without outside reliance on a third-party, that is the bigger deal. Next up better, Apple GPUs.
    edited February 2023 narwhaldewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 16
    techconc said:
    lkrupp said:
    Well, it had better be as good as or better than Qualcomm’s or the peanut gallery will be up in arms and throwing popcorn and beer cans all over the place.
    I'm sure Apple knows the target they have to hit and they have the luxury of not coming to market until they have it right.  Also, I expect we'll see it integrated in to the SoC eventually for additional performance and efficiency. 
    If the agreement with Qualcomm is running out and not being renewed, Apple must be exceptionally confident that their own modems are good enough. Lead times for hardware are such that anything released in 2024 is being finalised now (if not already). If there's no agreement and no component order... Apple's going with its own version.
    danoxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 16
    This is happening. That’s why the SE 4 is coming now
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16
    Qualcomm is shady. The further Apple gets from them, the better. 

    On another note, how freaking amazing is Apple as a tech company? 

    Not only making software and hardware enclosures, but now CPUs, GPUs, modems, designing I/o standards, etc. absolutely incredible. 

    And not only are they making their own stuff, but they’re beating the established players. 
    bestkeptsecretwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 16
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,829member
    Qualcomm is shady. The further Apple gets from them, the better. 

    On another note, how freaking amazing is Apple as a tech company? 

    Not only making software and hardware enclosures, but now CPUs, GPUs, modems, designing I/o standards, etc. absolutely incredible. 

    And not only are they making their own stuff, but they’re beating the established players. 
    Well, that's great but they aren't doing anything others aren't already doing.

    Modems aren't anything new and this particular move was down to a strategic error which left the company years behind the competition and having to absorb an entire division from Intel at enormous cost and still seems to be almost two years away from shipping so they are not beating any established players in that field. 

    Was it a good move? IMO, definitely but let's not forget that without Qualcomm's IP, Apple would be up a Cupertino creek without a paddle or a 5G modem. Shady or not, Qualcomm does exactly what Apple (and everyone else) does: sell products for profit. The difference is that Apple is a CE company and has less industrial leverage. 

    So, if producing a modem is more an action to reach where other players are already at, where is the real future of technology? 

    I'd say that is being developed right now but, as with most technological leaps, it requires different areas to converge before it can take off. 

    So my personal bet is on the next stage of IoT: ZE-IoT. 

    Current (and near future) IoT marries 5G with end devices both at consumer and industrial levels. Most of them carry energy storage mechanisms of some kind.

    Due to the sheer number of devices and QoS/latency issues, 5G is necessary with network slicing. 

    The 'I' in IoT is of course 'internet' so that involves IP addressing of some sort along the way.

    Imagine IoT with almost zero energy (ZE) storage. That means basically no battery, far less bulk and far easier and cheaper maintenance. These devices would be able to pull energy out of the electromagnetic fields around them (cell towers etc). They would even be able to scatter that energy to other nearby devices. Some people are calling these devices 'immortal'. 

    Imagine even a device which can exist without IP addressing. IP addressing would be picked up at the Edge.

    This technology is being developed right now and will require 5.5G/6G. The likes of Ericsson, Huawei and Qualcomm etc are behind the push. 

    It doesn't even have a standardised name yet. 

    Huawei gave a talk just yesterday in Barcelona which explained how networks themselves will become 'sensors' 

    Now imagine the use cases. They are as far and wide as your imagination but think about it. 'immortal', batteryless (read non-toxic), very low or zero maintenance devices.

    I can see huge medical uses as implants or non-invasive monitors (glucose monitoring?) Health and fitness extends to livestock and farming too. 

    Industrial processes will benefit hugely. If your network is the sensor and can sense everything (including precise locations) within warehouses and factories, things like inventory checks will become instantaneous, always on affairs. 

    AI is another piece of this future so in pure technology terms, there is a potential revolution coming down the pipe. 

    And what might happen if we throw XR into the mix? Nanotechnology? 


    edited February 2023 rundhvid
  • Reply 11 of 16
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,052member
    avon b7 said:
    Qualcomm is shady. The further Apple gets from them, the better. 

    On another note, how freaking amazing is Apple as a tech company? 

    Not only making software and hardware enclosures, but now CPUs, GPUs, modems, designing I/o standards, etc. absolutely incredible. 

    And not only are they making their own stuff, but they’re beating the established players. 
    Well, that's great but they aren't doing anything others aren't already doing.

    Modems aren't anything new and this particular move was down to a strategic error which left the company years behind the competition and having to absorb an entire division from Intel at enormous cost and still seems to be almost two years away from shipping so they are not beating any established players in that field. 

    Was it a good move? IMO, definitely but let's not forget that without Qualcomm's IP, Apple would be up a Cupertino creek without a paddle or a 5G modem. Shady or not, Qualcomm does exactly what Apple (and everyone else) does: sell products for profit. The difference is that Apple is a CE company and has less industrial leverage. 

    So, if producing a modem is more an action to reach where other players are already at, where is the real future of technology? 

    I'd say that is being developed right now but, as with most technological leaps, it requires different areas to converge before it can take off. 

    So my personal bet is on the next stage of IoT: ZE-IoT. 

    Current (and near future) IoT marries 5G with end devices both at consumer and industrial levels. Most of them carry energy storage mechanisms of some kind.

    Due to the sheer number of devices and QoS/latency issues, 5G is necessary with network slicing. 

    The 'I' in IoT is of course 'internet' so that involves IP addressing of some sort along the way.

    Imagine IoT with almost zero energy (ZE) storage. That means basically no battery, far less bulk and far easier and cheaper maintenance. These devices would be able to pull energy out of the electromagnetic fields around them (cell towers etc). They would even be able to scatter that energy to other nearby devices. Some people are calling these devices 'immortal'. 

    Imagine even a device which can exist without IP addressing. IP addressing would be picked up at the Edge.

    This technology is being developed right now and will require 5.5G/6G. The likes of Ericsson, Huawei and Qualcomm etc are behind the push. 

    It doesn't even have a standardised name yet. 

    Huawei gave a talk just yesterday in Barcelona which explained how networks themselves will become 'sensors' 

    Now imagine the use cases. They are as far and wide as your imagination but think about it. 'immortal', batteryless (read non-toxic), very low or zero maintenance devices.

    I can see huge medical uses as implants or non-invasive monitors (glucose monitoring?) Health and fitness extends to livestock and farming too. 

    Industrial processes will benefit hugely. If your network is the sensor and can sense everything (including precise locations) within warehouses and factories, things like inventory checks will become instantaneous, always on affairs. 

    AI is another piece of this future so in pure technology terms, there is a potential revolution coming down the pipe. 

    And what might happen if we throw XR into the mix? Nanotechnology? 



    In short, none of that stuff works without an in-house OS and custom optimized in-house hardware to go with it, Ericsson, Huawei and Qualcomm have no in-house OS, hoping for a third party OS from Google or Microsoft ain’t gonna be enough. 

    Intel also thought the same thing. Where are they today? Disrupted on the outside looking in. Trying to crawl their way back in.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 16
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,829member
    danox said:
    avon b7 said:
    Qualcomm is shady. The further Apple gets from them, the better. 

    On another note, how freaking amazing is Apple as a tech company? 

    Not only making software and hardware enclosures, but now CPUs, GPUs, modems, designing I/o standards, etc. absolutely incredible. 

    And not only are they making their own stuff, but they’re beating the established players. 
    Well, that's great but they aren't doing anything others aren't already doing.

    Modems aren't anything new and this particular move was down to a strategic error which left the company years behind the competition and having to absorb an entire division from Intel at enormous cost and still seems to be almost two years away from shipping so they are not beating any established players in that field. 

    Was it a good move? IMO, definitely but let's not forget that without Qualcomm's IP, Apple would be up a Cupertino creek without a paddle or a 5G modem. Shady or not, Qualcomm does exactly what Apple (and everyone else) does: sell products for profit. The difference is that Apple is a CE company and has less industrial leverage. 

    So, if producing a modem is more an action to reach where other players are already at, where is the real future of technology? 

    I'd say that is being developed right now but, as with most technological leaps, it requires different areas to converge before it can take off. 

    So my personal bet is on the next stage of IoT: ZE-IoT. 

    Current (and near future) IoT marries 5G with end devices both at consumer and industrial levels. Most of them carry energy storage mechanisms of some kind.

    Due to the sheer number of devices and QoS/latency issues, 5G is necessary with network slicing. 

    The 'I' in IoT is of course 'internet' so that involves IP addressing of some sort along the way.

    Imagine IoT with almost zero energy (ZE) storage. That means basically no battery, far less bulk and far easier and cheaper maintenance. These devices would be able to pull energy out of the electromagnetic fields around them (cell towers etc). They would even be able to scatter that energy to other nearby devices. Some people are calling these devices 'immortal'. 

    Imagine even a device which can exist without IP addressing. IP addressing would be picked up at the Edge.

    This technology is being developed right now and will require 5.5G/6G. The likes of Ericsson, Huawei and Qualcomm etc are behind the push. 

    It doesn't even have a standardised name yet. 

    Huawei gave a talk just yesterday in Barcelona which explained how networks themselves will become 'sensors' 

    Now imagine the use cases. They are as far and wide as your imagination but think about it. 'immortal', batteryless (read non-toxic), very low or zero maintenance devices.

    I can see huge medical uses as implants or non-invasive monitors (glucose monitoring?) Health and fitness extends to livestock and farming too. 

    Industrial processes will benefit hugely. If your network is the sensor and can sense everything (including precise locations) within warehouses and factories, things like inventory checks will become instantaneous, always on affairs. 

    AI is another piece of this future so in pure technology terms, there is a potential revolution coming down the pipe. 

    And what might happen if we throw XR into the mix? Nanotechnology? 



    In short, none of that stuff works without an in-house OS and custom optimized in-house hardware to go with it, Ericsson, Huawei and Qualcomm have no in-house OS, hoping for a third party OS from Google or Microsoft ain’t gonna be enough. 

    Intel also thought the same thing. Where are they today? Disrupted on the outside looking in. Trying to crawl their way back in.
    You might like to reconsider what you currently think:

    https://www.huaweicentral.com/harmonyos-industry-continues-to-expand/

    That article covers a lot of industries. Then you have this:

    https://global.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202110/21/WS6170cf63a310cdd39bc704dd.html

    Midea is one of the world's largest appliance companies. 

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.lightreading.com/growing-5g-in-intelligent-manufacturing-insight-into-mideas-5g-fully-connected-factory/a/d-id/781618&ved=2ahUKEwjfz8Hglrn9AhUdxAIHHTcGD3QQFnoECCAQAQ&usg=AOvVaw0HB75Jr7w1isq9ijlVDfnt

    Or Haier:

    https://www.huawei.com/en/huaweitech/publication/winwin/37/building-worlds-first-smart-5g-connected-factory

    Or ports:

    https://www.euronews.com/next/2022/12/12/huaweis-revolutionary-vision-for-ports-sets-sail-with-ai-powered-hub-utilising-5g-and-gree

    Or airports:

    https://www.futuretravelexperience.com/2022/05/moving-beyond-the-paradigm-changi-aena-hia-malaysia-airports-huawei-talk-digital-transformation-and-the-need-for-industry-wide-collaboration/

    Or mining:

    https://techwireasia.com/2022/11/huawei-is-using-5g-and-ai-for-a-safe-and-smart-mining/

    Or health:

    https://www.prnewswire.com/in/news-releases/from-years-to-just-one-month-huawei-clouds-pangu-drug-molecule-model-accelerates-new-drug-discovery-301626886.html

    https://govinsider.asia/intl-en/article/why-advances-in-ai-are-vital-in-the-fight-against-covid-19

    Or cars:

    https://www.gsmarena.com/aito_m5_harmonyos_system_quick_review-news-54285.php

    And yes, flying cars too. They launched the Digital Skies Initiative in 2017 to lay the groundwork for personal and industrial low altitude transportation up to 300m.

    The list is very, very long. I haven't mentioned farming, smart cities, solar etc. 

    Then there is Oniro:

    https://oniroproject.org/

    Basically things go from 128KB IoT up to multi million dollar 1024-core AI cluster units and everything in between. 

    HarmonyOS and Open Euler are two of the backbone technologies and are highly scalable. 















  • Reply 13 of 16
    croprcropr Posts: 1,129member
    avon b7 said:

    Theoretically, Apple could do what Huawei has been doing for years. Add to a standard to enhance performance of its own devices without impacting standards compliance.

    That seems impossible.  The performance on a 5G network is driven by the network side, the part which  Apple does not control.   The main 5G network vendors, Ericsson Nokia, Huawei and Samsung, are strictly adhering to the 5G standards


  • Reply 14 of 16
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,829member
    cropr said:
    avon b7 said:

    Theoretically, Apple could do what Huawei has been doing for years. Add to a standard to enhance performance of its own devices without impacting standards compliance.

    That seems impossible.  The performance on a 5G network is driven by the network side, the part which  Apple does not control.   The main 5G network vendors, Ericsson Nokia, Huawei and Samsung, are strictly adhering to the 5G standards


    I mean 'adding' to standards through adding propietary functionality to chipsets etc, not adding to the official standard. 

    In the Huawei example of Wi-Fi 6 plus, the devices make use of technologies which regular Wi-Fi 6 devices don't use. In the case of Bluetooth, the Huawei chipsets provide more bandwidth. In both cases, proprietary algorithms are used to boost performance. 

    Of course this means that for the advantages to be practical, both points in the communication have to have access to the technology so, back in 2019 for example, you could only get the highest quality Bluetooth audio if you paired Huawei earbuds with a Huawei phone or for Wi-Fi 6 plus, you would need a Huawei router. 

    However, being fully standards compliant, those devices work perfectly with any Bluetooth/Wi-Fi device from other vendors. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 16
    chutzpahchutzpah Posts: 392member
    avon b7 said:
    cropr said:
    avon b7 said:

    Theoretically, Apple could do what Huawei has been doing for years. Add to a standard to enhance performance of its own devices without impacting standards compliance.

    That seems impossible.  The performance on a 5G network is driven by the network side, the part which  Apple does not control.   The main 5G network vendors, Ericsson Nokia, Huawei and Samsung, are strictly adhering to the 5G standards


    I mean 'adding' to standards through adding propietary functionality to chipsets etc, not adding to the official standard. 

    In the Huawei example of Wi-Fi 6 plus, the devices make use of technologies which regular Wi-Fi 6 devices don't use. In the case of Bluetooth, the Huawei chipsets provide more bandwidth. In both cases, proprietary algorithms are used to boost performance. 

    Of course this means that for the advantages to be practical, both points in the communication have to have access to the technology so, back in 2019 for example, you could only get the highest quality Bluetooth audio if you paired Huawei earbuds with a Huawei phone or for Wi-Fi 6 plus, you would need a Huawei router. 

    However, being fully standards compliant, those devices work perfectly with any Bluetooth/Wi-Fi device from other vendors. 
    Isn't that the point though? Apple do this with the H# chip in AirPods to improve Bluetooth performance too, but crucially they don't run any cellular networks, so what could they add to a 5G modem outside of the standard that would make anything better?  You can make a fancier bus stop, but it won't make the buses arrive any faster.
  • Reply 16 of 16
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,829member
    chutzpah said:
    avon b7 said:
    cropr said:
    avon b7 said:

    Theoretically, Apple could do what Huawei has been doing for years. Add to a standard to enhance performance of its own devices without impacting standards compliance.

    That seems impossible.  The performance on a 5G network is driven by the network side, the part which  Apple does not control.   The main 5G network vendors, Ericsson Nokia, Huawei and Samsung, are strictly adhering to the 5G standards


    I mean 'adding' to standards through adding propietary functionality to chipsets etc, not adding to the official standard. 

    In the Huawei example of Wi-Fi 6 plus, the devices make use of technologies which regular Wi-Fi 6 devices don't use. In the case of Bluetooth, the Huawei chipsets provide more bandwidth. In both cases, proprietary algorithms are used to boost performance. 

    Of course this means that for the advantages to be practical, both points in the communication have to have access to the technology so, back in 2019 for example, you could only get the highest quality Bluetooth audio if you paired Huawei earbuds with a Huawei phone or for Wi-Fi 6 plus, you would need a Huawei router. 

    However, being fully standards compliant, those devices work perfectly with any Bluetooth/Wi-Fi device from other vendors. 
    Isn't that the point though? Apple do this with the H# chip in AirPods to improve Bluetooth performance too, but crucially they don't run any cellular networks, so what could they add to a 5G modem outside of the standard that would make anything better?  You can make a fancier bus stop, but it won't make the buses arrive any faster.
    There's more you can do beyond the standards with the only limitation being that any extras are limited to your own devices. It is a reasonable option if you have the knowhow and resources to pull it off. And you retain standards compliance for other devices too. 

    And example would be one of HiSilicon's Wi-Fi chipsets which was launched as the world's fastest and famously led to Huawei stating that its Wi-Fi 5 (on Huawei devices with that chip) was actually faster than Apple's Wi-Fi 6.

    Another example would be things like Link Turbo which squeezes more performance out of available Bluetooth bandwidth.

    Another example would be proprietary technologies which reduce frequency interference or improve things like cell tower handover. 

    A 4G iPhone would perform worse than a 4G Huawei phone on high speed trains as Huawei used its knowhow in basestations to good advantage even though both phones were equally compliant from a standards perspective. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
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