Hear that, Qualcomm? Analyst claims Apple's homegrown 5G modems to land in 2023 'at the earliest'

Securities advisor passes note setting potential date for snipping of Snapdragons to investors

Nearly two years after Apple swallowed Chipzilla’s smartphone modem business for a cool $1bn, the company is reportedly set to start using its own home-grown baseband chips, starting with 2023’s iPhone.

The report comes from Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities with a solid track record of gaining accurate inside information about Apple’s product movements. According to AppleTrack, Ming-Chi's tips have a 76.6 per cent accuracy rate.

In an investor's note, Ming-Chi wrote he expected the iPhone will start using modems designed in-house by “2023 at the earliest.” This echoed similar predictions expressed by analysts at Barclays.

This shift, he added, might prove damaging to Qualcomm, which provided the Snapdragon X55 modem used across the iPhone 12 series. The company is also expected to provide its Snapdragon X60 modems for the upcoming iPhone 13, and previously supplied baseband chips for devices sold through CDMA carriers (namely Sprint and Verizon).

That said, the terms of the deal inked by Apple and Qualcomm back in April 2019, settling all litigation between them, was widely said to be favourable to Qualcomm.

Ming-Chi claimed that sales of high-end 5G Android devices had proven “sluggish,” and would force Qualy to increase its presence in the low-to-mid end segments, where arch-rival MediaTek is a formidable foe.

As noted in Qualcomm’s latest financials, sales of baseband chips are a neat money spinner for the company, accounting for $903m in revenue during the last quarter, up 39 per cent year-on-year. Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm’s president and soon-to-be CEO, expects sales of RF front-end components to hit $3.6bn by the end of the year.

Earlier this year, Apple announced plans to develop a €1bn semiconductor research facility in Munich, with a heavy focus on wireless technologies. With an opening date penned for late 2022, the campus will consolidate Apple’s existing semiconductor R&D teams in the region. The former Intel modem team itself orginated from German outfit Infineon.

There’s also the matter of the $600m IP and asset transfer deal with Dialog Semiconductor, which added four teams of R&D workers to Apple’s payroll, including two in the Bavarian town of Neuaubing, which sits on Munich’s periphery.

By producing its own modems in-house, Apple would gain the ability to tightly integrate its RF chippery with its Apple Silicon line of processors, and focus on areas that the company deems important, such as power management. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022