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Apple Could Abandon Its In-House 5G Modem in the iPhone SE 4

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Apple looks set to end its plans to launch custom radio chips and 5G modems, according to new reports. This move could see the company relying on Qualcomm's Snapdragon modems in its devices, including iPhones, in the foreseeable future.

The first report comes from a notable leaker who posted the details on the South Korean platform Naver. User yeux1122 cited suppliers close to the Cupertino tech giant that the company is abandoning the development of its in-house 5G modem due to unspecified reasons.

Similarly, frequent leaker Tech_Reve confirmed that on X (formerly Twitter) about the same plight that Apple currently faces with its custom modem development. However, the account was referring to a Japanese source rather than from supply chain chatter in South Korea.

No custom 5G chip in the Apple iPhone SE 4

Regardless, this would suggest that the upcoming iPhone SE 4 will likely debut with a Qualcomm radio once it launches in 2025. It was first rumored that the next-gen budget iPhone SE is slated to launch in 2025. The device will also sport a major design iteration, including a notch to house Face ID instead of bringing back Touch ID.

The history of Apple's foray into building custom 5G modems could be traced back to when it acquired the mobile modem division of Intel. It also started forming its team, which comprised of mostly ex-Intel and Qualcomm engineers.

Render image of the Apple iPhone SE 4 in 4 colors
Here, we see the possible Apple iPhone SE 4 in four colors. / © concept_central

While it did not mention the reason behind Apple abandoning the modem business, it is presumed that the iPhone manufacturer was unable to achieve a workable chip that would meet its requirements. There are also other matters relating to using connectivity patents owned by Qualcomm that are necessary for Apple.

Based on what we know, Apple has inked a deal with Qualcomm, with the latter supplying radio chips and 5G modems. Seeing the current state, it is most likely the partnership will be extended further beyond the original 2026 date.

Do you think it is a good decision for Apple to rely on Qualcomm's expertise when it comes to modems in its devices? We look forward to hearing your answers.

Source: X, Naver

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Jade Bryan

Jade Bryan
Junior Editor

I still remember how amazed I was when I first got hold of the Nokia 3210 back when I was a kid, and it was during that time I developed my love for technology, particularly for mobile phones. I started sharing my knowledge through writing in different blogs and forums back in Nokia Nseries era. I even make videos before where I put different phones side-by-side. Today, I'm still an avid enthusiast of smartphones, but my interests have evolved into smart devices and electric vehicles.

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