Apple Extends 5G Deal with Qualcomm to 2027
During a recent earnings call, Qualcomm announced that Apple has extended its 5G modem patent license agreement with Qualcomm, extending the new agreement until March 2027. This seems to indicate that Apple’s in-house baseband project is facing further delays.
Currently, all models in Apple’s iPhone 15 series are using Qualcomm’s 5G modem. Based on the timeline of this latest agreement, it is likely that Apple will not be able to integrate its in-house 5G modem until the iPhone 19 series.
Apple had originally planned to launch its in-house 5G baseband in the spring of 2025. However, this timeline seems unfeasible now, and Apple is expected to have its in-house 5G baseband ready by late 2025 or early 2026.
In September 2023, Apple reached a new agreement with Qualcomm, extending the supply agreement for 5G modems until 2026. It is evident that Apple is unable to produce its own baseband in a timely manner and must continue to rely on Qualcomm’s products. However, even the 2026 timeline is not a guaranteed launch date.
Of course, the baseband itself does not directly address signal performance in Apple’s smartphones. When Apple switched from Intel basebands to Qualcomm basebands, the signal performance still did not meet consumer expectations. Clearly, the signal issues in Apple’s smartphones cannot be solved by a single baseband. Consumers hope that Apple’s in-house 5G baseband will bring about systemic changes to fundamentally improve signal performance.