Apple extends its licensing pact with Qualcomm

Apple extends its licensing pact with Qualcomm, securing Qualcomm modems for iPhone until 2027

In a strategic move revealed during Qualcomm’s first 2024 earnings conference call, Qualcomm confirmed that Apple has extended its licensing agreement with Qualcomm, ensuring the continued presence of Qualcomm modems in future generations of iPhone until March 2027. Despite Apple’s continued efforts to develop its own 5G modem chip, delays have hampered the company’s plans.

Initially targeting a 2024 launch for an Apple-designed modem chip, Apple has faced setbacks, pushing back its timeline. The subsequent goal of introducing the modem chip in the spring 2025 iPhone SE release has also proven elusive. While Apple’s pursuit of a proprietary 5G baseband aims to reduce reliance on Qualcomm and potentially resolve signal issues, the complexity of the task suggests an extended timeline.

For the current year, the iPhone 16 Pro series is expected to feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X75 baseband chip, demonstrating Apple’s reliance on Qualcomm’s technology. Meanwhile, the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will retain the Snapdragon X70 baseband chip inherited from the iPhone 15 series.

This extension of the licensing agreement represents a practical solution for Apple to ensure seamless integration of Qualcomm’s proven modems while giving the tech giant more time to perfect its in-house 5G modem technology. As the race for technological autonomy continues, Apple navigates the delicate balance between innovation and strategic partnerships.

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