Qualcomm’s CEO predicts that Apple will use its own modems in iPhones in 2024
Apple is moving to internal 5G modem chips for its 2024 iPhones, according to an executive Qualcomm – which are currently being made for the tech giant – aware.
“We are not making any plans for 2024, my planning assumption is that we are not giving [Apple] modem in 24, but it’s their decision to make,” Cristiano Amon told CNBC at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Apple’s latest iPhone 14 models use Qualcomm modems, but the company has been looking to be alone in the wireless connection market for several years.
It bought Intel’s modem business in 2019 and there had been speculation that it would start using internal components this year.
In an interview with CNBC’s Karen Tso and Arjun Kharpal, Amon said that Qualcomm had told investors back in 2021 that it had no plans to provide modems for the iPhone in 2023, but Apple then decided continue for another year.
Amon did not confirm whether Apple will pay Qualcomm QTL licenses if it moves to its own modems, but said the royalty was “independent of providing a chip.”
Qualcomm has been diversifying its business into automotive semiconductors and low-power applications.
Amon also addressed the US lawsuit filed against Qualcomm by British semiconductor company Arm. The legal battle between two of the world’s largest chip designers comes as Qualcomm tries to grow in the PC market; To do that, he acquired a company called Nuvia, whose server chips are based on the Arm architecture.
Arm maintains that it needs permission to use the chip designs and is seeking damages and to force Qualcomm to destroy various information and hardware related to the purchase.
“It’s very unfortunate, this lawsuit, but the fact is that we have extensive rights to Arm IP, one of their early licensees,” said Amon. “We feel very good about a solution and we are just moving forward with our plans. And all of our customers are excited about what we’re doing in this area.”
On a Wall Street Journal report that the US government is considering revoking export licenses to US suppliers to Huawei, Amon said: “We have licenses to sell 4G chips to Huawei. We comply with our license, but we have not seen any action yet.”
He called the US Chips and Science Act a “good thing” that had encouraged companies like TSMC and Samsung to build facilities in the country.
Revoking its license would deal a financial blow to Qualcomm, he said, but stressed that the company was more diversified and supplied modems to companies including Samsung, Opal and Honor and was ‘ growth in cars and the Internet of things.