Apple will continue to use Qualcomm 5G baseband until March 2027

In September of the previous year, Qualcomm released a statement affirming the renewal of a three-year agreement with Apple, promising to continue supplying baseband chips for the iPhone until 2026. Reports have indicated that Apple’s in-house development of a 5G modem, codenamed “Sinope,” has yielded a prototype with subpar performance, characterized not only by its sluggish speed but also by a propensity to overheat. Further information has emerged suggesting that, due to the protracted and fruitless efforts, coupled with ongoing difficulties, Apple may consider abandoning its project to develop a proprietary 5G baseband.

According to a report by Wccftech, during Qualcomm’s first-quarter earnings call of 2024, CEO Christiano Amon announced that the agreement to supply baseband chips for the iPhone with Apple has been extended to March 2027. This development, to some extent, corroborates the rumors circulating about Apple’s significant challenges in developing its own 5G baseband, necessitating additional time to address these issues.

Christiano Amon expressed his satisfaction with the current relationship between Qualcomm and Apple, stating that extending their partnership ensures Qualcomm’s continued stable revenue in the coming years. Previously, there were concerns about Qualcomm’s prospects, with speculations that Apple’s potential success in launching its own 5G baseband by the end of 2025 or early 2026 could supplant Qualcomm’s solutions, thereby inflicting substantial losses on Qualcomm’s revenue.

Apple has not responded to these developments, but the extension of the existing agreement clearly illustrates the challenges encountered in the development of its own 5G baseband. Despite Apple’s efforts to reduce its dependence on Qualcomm through in-house products, it has encountered numerous obstacles that it has, to date, been unwilling to acknowledge.