Apple’s 5G Modem Delay: A Twisted Tale of Tech Trials and Tribulations

Apple's 5G Modem Delay

It’s time to buckle up for a bit of a bumpy ride in Apple’s tech universe. You might want to grab a cup of coffee for this one, because we’re diving into the latest chapter of Apple’s ongoing saga: the great 5G modem delay.

The Rocky Road of Apple’s Modem Development

Remember back in 2019, when Apple scooped up the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business? That move came with a hefty price tag of $1 billion, and it was all in pursuit of a grand plan: to replace Qualcomm’s 5G modems with Apple’s very own concoction. Fast forward to the present, and, well, let’s just say it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster.

When Plans Don’t Pan Out

Apple’s initial goal was to have its in-house 5G modem ready to dazzle us by 2024, then spring 2025. But, as our tech crystal ball shows, those timelines have zoomed past faster than a tweet in a storm. The latest word on the street, courtesy of the ever-reliable Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, is that we might, just might, see this elusive modem by late 2025 or early 2026.

But here’s the kicker: the development of this modem chip is still in its toddler stages. We’re talking about a chip that, as of now, doesn’t support the snazzy mmWave technology and is giving Apple’s engineers a serious case of the tech blues.

The Qualcomm Conundrum

Let’s not forget the elephant in the room: Qualcomm. Apple’s dissatisfaction with Qualcomm’s royalty demands dates back to 2017, leading to a legal tango that only ended when Apple settled and signed a new contract with Qualcomm, extended till at least 2026. So, for the time being, Apple and Qualcomm are still dance partners.

What Lies Ahead

As the plot thickens, we find Apple’s hardware team stretched thin, juggling numerous projects, and battling the modem beast that just won’t be tamed. Even Qualcomm’s CFO is hedging bets on continuing to supply a chunk of Apple’s modem needs come 2026.

But, dear readers, in the grand theater of tech, Apple’s story is far from over. This delay in the 5G modem project is just another twist in a tale full of turns. The vision? To eventually bring this homegrown modem not just to the iPhone, but also to the iPad and the Apple Watch.

So, as we sit back and watch this drama unfold, remember: in the tech world, delays are just the prelude to innovation. And while we wait for the curtain to rise on Apple’s in-house modem, let’s enjoy the show that is Apple’s relentless pursuit of tech excellence.

Jeff Cochin has more than ten years of experience in data recovery, management and warehousing. On Macgasm he mostly writes about Apple news and software reviews. Jeff's journey with Macbooks began in 2008, showcasing his enduring commitment to the Apple… Full Bio