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Apple is in the early stages of developing 6G modems for future iPhones

Apple is actively engaged in the development of its own 6G modem, marking a continuation of its efforts to diversify its modem technology beyond the current reliance on Qualcomm for 5G modems used in iPhones and iPads. Although Apple had encountered challenges and delays in its previous pursuit of an in-house 5G modem, the company is now committed to advancing its capabilities in the 6G space.

According to the Power On newsletter by Mark Gurman, Apple has been working on the 6G modem project for approximately two years. While the deployment of 6G technology is not anticipated until around 2030, Apple is strategically investing in the research, development, testing, and optimization of its 6G technology in preparation for the future.

Earlier reports had suggested that Apple had put its 5G modem project on hold due to technical difficulties and complexities. The prototype chips faced issues such as sluggish performance and overheating. The company’s hardware division has been challenged in resolving bugs amid multitasking across various projects.

Contrary to previous claims of abandoning the modem development project, Gurman’s recent report indicates that Apple remains committed to its in-house modem initiative. The company initially aimed to introduce its own modem by the next year, but due to the challenges faced, the target release has been reconsidered. The in-house modem might now debut by the end of 2025 or early 2026, coinciding with the conclusion of Apple’s extended agreement with Qualcomm.



Apple might be working on its own in-house 6G modems for future iPhones -  BusinessToday
Apple might be working on its own in-house 6G modems for future iPhones

Apple is currently in the testing phase of its new modem technology in Silicon Valley. However, carrier trials are still several years away, making it improbable for the first device featuring the in-house modem to arrive before 2026. Apple plans to incorporate its modem technology not only in iPhones but also in iPads and Apple Watches.

Despite Apple’s ongoing efforts in modem development, Qualcomm is expected to continue supplying some of the modem chips for Apple even in 2026. The company’s strategy involves gradually introducing its in-house modem technology across various product lines, with the iPhone being the primary focus initially.

In conclusion, Apple’s persistence in pursuing its 6G modem aligns with the company’s broader objective of reducing dependence on external suppliers and gaining more control over critical components of its devices. The challenges faced in the 5G modem development have not deterred Apple, and the company remains determined to establish itself as a key player in the evolving landscape of wireless communication technologies.

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