September 20, 2023

AAPL - Apple's In-House Modem

By Van Tran
Although Qualcomm recently announced the company will be supplying Apple’s iPhone 5G modems through 2026, Asian supply chain sources still expect Apple’s in-house modem to start cutting into Qualcomm’s share in late 3Q25.

On Sept. 11, Qualcomm Inc. announced an agreement to supply  5G modem and other RF parts to Apple Inc. in 2024 and 2025 and to supply 20% of the modems for the new iPhone models in 2026. However, in line with OTR Global’s Feb. 14 note, Asian supply chain sources said Apple plans to design in its first in-house 5G modem in the iPhone 17, expected to launch in 3Q25. “[Apple has] two modem projects: one for launch in 2025, and one for launch in 2026,” one said. Similar to comments in OTR Global’s June 9 note, another source said Apple is expected to share the modem socket with Qualcomm in its 2025 iPhone launch. “It is too risky for Apple to use the new modem for all of the SKUs of the new iPhone in 2025. Qualcomm will have some share at the beginning,” the source said.

Sources also said there is still a possibility Apple might deploy an in-house modem as a data card in an iPad or MacBook line before using it for the 2025 new iPhone.

Qualcomm is believed to be supplying the $35 X70 5G modem for the recently launched iPhone 15 (also see OTR Global’s Aug. 16 note).