Apple leaks have already claimed that some amazing iPhone 15 upgrades are coming in 2023. But now a new report says that one of the most anticipated might not arrive for several years.
In a research note obtained by MacRumors, Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu reveals that Apple’s first internal 5G modem is unlikely to be ready for the launch of the iPhone 15. Furthermore, the analyst says that it may even miss the iPhone 16 launch in 2024.
This news comes as a surprise given that Apple bought Intel’s 5G smartphone modem business for $1 billion in July 2019, and Intel modems were already used in smartphones worldwide, including the iPhone 11 series. Yes, tests had shown that they were inferior to Qualcomm’s modems, but there was nothing to suggest that a 5-year absence from the market would be required to make them more competitive.
Moreover, the news is something of a blow to iPhone fans. Apple has long demonstrated the advantages of its tightly integrated chips, and Apple’s internal modems are expected to offer significant performance and power efficiency gains compared to Qualcomm’s off-the-shelf X-range, which is also used by more Android competitors.
That said, it’s not all bad news. While Qualcomm’s first 5G modems were criticized for high power consumption, newer models have improved dramatically. Specifically, Forbes senior contributor David Altavilla described Qualcomm’s upcoming X70 as a “Game Changer.”
This is due to the use of stand-alone mmWave 5G (capable of speeds up to 8.3 gigabits per second), sub-6 GHz carrier aggregation (providing speeds of up to 6.0 Gbps on wider available 5G spectrums) and ‘Smart Transmit 3.0”, a system-wide upgradeable feature that improves power management.
Given Apple’s internal modem delays, the X70 is now effectively a lock for the iPhone 15, since the iPhone 12, 13, and 14 series used the X55, X60, and X65 modems, respectively.
Unlike its predecessor, the iPhone 15 series is expected to feature a unified design that uses Dynamic Island and replace the Lightning port with USB-C ahead of its enforcement by the European Union in 2024. However, there are fears that prices will rise again.
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