Apple reportedly set 2022 as the target for using its own 5G modem in iPhones, after taking over Intel’s smartphone modem business earlier this year in a bid to boost future product development.
However, a source told US business magazine Fast Company Apple might struggle to meet this timeline because it will need to complete a series of tests covering network optimisation, along with compliance with domestic and global standards.
As a result, the insider predicted 2023 as a more likely launch date for an Apple 5G smartphone modem.
Apple currently uses Qualcomm modems under a long-term supply deal, but the device maker is keen to bring production in-house, if nothing else to avoid another painful bout of litigation with the US chip maker.
As part of its ambition to decrease its reliance on suppliers and develop its own modems, in July Apple inked a $1 billion deal to acquire the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business, including around 2,200 staff, and associated intellectual property, equipment and leases.
The tech giant is expected to incorporate 5G in a line of three new iPhones due in 2020.
Development of Apple’s first 5G modem is reportedly being led by radio-frequency engineer Esin Terzioglu, the vendor’s wireless SoC head.