Despite previous rumors from reliable leakers like Ming-Chi Kuo that Apple is on track to release their in-house modem in 2025, new reports suggest that Apple has scrapped the plans for it now. According to Revegnus on X, Apple is probably completely abandoning the project of self-developed modems, and the venture has apparently failed.
We know that licensing modems and paying royalties to companies like Qualcomm greatly cost Apple. Earlier, Apple worked with Intel with modems. However, the cellular strength was weak, and many people complained. After the 5G revolution, Apple partnered with Qualcomm to obtain 5G modems for their iPhones.
Internally, they were working on an in-house modem to replace Qualcomm eventually. This will save them a lot of money since they don’t have to surplus amounts to Qualcomm for their modems. Apple is focusing on making many of its components first-party to have more control over the supply chain and distribution. This helps maximize profit margins. Apple has already designed its SOCs for iPhones, and modems are the logical next step.
There were also many reports that Apple is working on displays, too. Apple currently obtains its panels from Samsung, BOE, and LG. These companies charge a lot for their OLED panels, and Apple making them internally will save a lot of costs. As far as we know, this project is still ongoing and probably for Micro LED panels. There’s no information on which product will get in-house displays and in which year they’ll get it.
Apple acquired Intel’s modem business and all its rights in 2019. Since then, there have been multiple efforts to make their modems. However, none of them bore much fruit. If everything went to plan, the iPhone SE 4 would’ve shipped with the first in-house modems.
However, it appears that it’ll ship with a Qualcomm modem now. Launching the SE 4 with an Apple modem makes perfect sense since this massively saves costs. The iPhone SE line is supposed to be the cheapest offering, and cutting Qualcomm off will reduce the costs massively. It looks like it’s unlikely now.
We don’t know the original source of the info, but Apple is allegedly re-evaluating its investments in the self-developed modem project. The original target was 2023, then it was the iPhone SE4 in 2024 or 2025. Then, the target was revised to 2026- a long time away. Furthermore, Qualcomm has extended the partnership, and they’re apparently supplying 5G modems for Apple until 2026.
If there are any further efforts, they’ll probably be a long time later, after 2026. We’re unsure whether Appel will continue its investments and efforts in this project. Apple might try developing alternative ways of integrating modems for 5G technology.
Internally, Apple probably has a lot of other more important projects. Apple is working on their virtual reality headset, planning to try to mainstream spatial computing. They have their in-house displays project, OLED iPads, the non-invasive blood glucose monitoring project, and more.
The report suggests that Apple could completely abandon the project of in-house modems. But since it lacks an original source, we can’t determine the accuracy of it. If there are any breakthroughs, Apple will probably revisit the project in the future. Note that we’re not even sure whether it’s actually abandoned.