Apple Developing its own 5G Modem

by Elliot V. King

Apple is currently Qualcomm chips in their iPhones and iPads but is reportedly working on their own 5G Modem.

Apple Inc., Qualcomm Inc.’s biggest customer, is working to design a cellular modem for iPhones and iPads that will eventually let it drop the chip supplier’s technology, according to people familiar with the situation.

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“We’re working with them and we’re still valued business partners,” Mike Wang, president of Qualcomm’s chip unit, said at a press briefing Thursday. “We’re still in the middle of the negotiation.”

“I’d be very surprised if Apple didn’t make its own modem,” said an industry expert in a phone interview on Friday. “It’s a critical feature for them.”

signal tower
Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on

Apple’s biggest rival, Samsung Electronics Co., has been designing its own mobile chips for years. Samsung’s modem, the Exynos 9, is the chip of choice for devices like the Galaxy S9, and the company is said to be the biggest customer for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845.

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