Apple Abandons In-House 5G Modem Efforts, Turns to Qualcomm for Support

Recent reports suggest that Apple’s in-house development of a 5G modem has encountered setbacks, delaying its launch to late 2025 or early 2026. Consequently, Qualcomm and Apple have renewed a three-year agreement, ensuring Qualcomm’s continued supply of modem chips for the iPhone until 2026. Many believe that in the long run, Apple aims to replace Qualcomm’s solution with its own proprietary 5G modem.

According to Wccftech, insiders reveal that Apple may consider abandoning its in-house 5G modem project due to persistent challenges and repeated setbacks despite prolonged efforts. If true, this decision would result in substantial losses for Apple, considering the significant investment made in this project over the years. It is rumored that Apple’s original goals for the project were overly ambitious and failed to account for potential developmental hurdles.

Qualcomm lay off

Despite Apple’s $1 billion acquisition of Intel’s smartphone chip business in 2019 to accelerate the project, the endeavor appears to have yielded limited success. Apple reportedly employed thousands of engineers for the in-house 5G modem project, not only retaining Intel’s original team but also recruiting personnel from Qualcomm to bolster the project.

However, some industry insiders dispute these claims, suggesting that Apple has not entirely scrapped its in-house 5G modem project. It’s possible that Apple merely altered its original development plan. Rumors suggest that the fourth-generation iPhone SE might be the first product to feature Apple’s proprietary 5G modem, but the project’s delay has consequently postponed the product’s launch.