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Apple to introduce its own 5G modem for iPhone by 2022

With 5G expected to be rolled out in more countries in 2020, Apple is said to be pushing for its own 5G modem on their iPhones by 2022. This comes after its purchase of Intel’s smartphone modem business a few months ago.

At the moment, the Cupertino company is using Intel modems on the current iPhone 11 series and it is no secret that both companies are not happy with each other. Apple will continue to rely on Qualcomm for its 5G ready iPhone models that are launching next year but they are eager to cut off its dependency on the chipmaker by accelerating its own plans for a 5G modem.

According to a report, its timeline to push out a new 5G modem in just two years is very aggressive. Even if they have completed the design and fabrication, the modem has to undergo testing and certification processes which will take time. Apple will also need to ensure that its modem is compatible with mobile networks across the world and it has to be tested for compliance with global standards as well as battery tests to satisfy FCC requirements.

Apple has never produced a modem of its own and they are expected to utilise the Intel’s modem technology which they have acquired recently. While it is ideal to have an integrated 5G solution in a single chip, there’s a possibility that Apple might release a standalone 5G modem first in 2022 before introducing an integrated solution in the following year.

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Alexander Wong