AppleInsider is supported by its audience and can earn commission as an Amazon Associate and affiliate partner on qualifying purchases. These affiliate partnerships do not affect our editorial content.
Apple will lean on its longtime chip partner TSMC for the production of its iPhone modem, a report claims, adding fuel to rumors that Apple will use its own modem design in its flagship product in 2023.
There have been rumors that Apple has been working on a modem for a while, to replace the Qualcomm component currently used in the iPhone. While speculation puts forward the idea that it will be out in 2023, a report indicates that TSMC will produce the part on Apple’s behalf.
The modem will use TSMC’s 4-nanometer technology, four people familiar with the initiative are advised to Nikkei Asia. Instead of just the modem, the sources also claim that Apple is working on other connected components, including radio frequency and millimeter wave components that connect to the modem itself, as well as a power management chip only to the modem.
The report follows a claim by Qualcomm on November 16 that it estimates it would only supply about 20% of the modems Apple would need for the iPhone in 2023. Qualcomm did not disclose where they thought Apple would buy others. modems, but to create its own to be the most likely outcome.
Qualcomm is the current supplier of modems to Apple after entering into a modem license agreement in April 2019, which completed a major patent licensing test. The agreement also included a multi-year chipset supply agreement and a six-year licensing agreement.
In July 2019, after Intel signaled its exit from the modem business, Apple signed a billion-dollar deal to acquire related assets, including patents, IP and key personnel. The purchase gave Apple everything it needed to create its own 5G modems.