Two years after the start of the conflict, Apple and Qualcomm entered into a peace agreement and agreed on the supply of modems for the iPhone. Many were shocked by this news, but industry experts do not see anything surprising in it.
The modem is one of the most complex chips in a smartphone . Creating it requires a lot more resources than developing conventional processors.
The modem connects phones to cellular networks, allows you to access the Internet, download applications and make phone calls. Ensuring smooth operation around the world is a complex task that requires a lot of experience, which is difficult to acquire.
Apple started developing a modem last year. It usually takes at least two years to assemble, and testing takes another year and a half.
“Modems are a sport of kings. Qualcomm is probably the only company on the planet that can provide Apple with a 5G modem by next year, ”said Northland Capital Markets analyst Gus Richard.
The problem with developing a modem is that it does different things. It handles cellular signals, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. At the same time, he needs to maintain all the old and new standards.
In the case of mobile communications, things get even more complicated. The modem must be compatible with each generation of technology, as well as with various standards that are used by operators around the world.
Before going on sale, the smartphone is certified in many local networks. This process requires rigorous testing by experienced engineers.
According to Richard, obtaining certification around the world is very difficult. In the process of implementing 2G, 3G and 4G, companies gained a lot of knowledge. Without this knowledge, new players are likely to fail.
Qualcomm has such an experience. In addition, the company has sophisticated testing laboratories that can simulate the radio signal of any country in the world.
According to an anonymous analyst, Apple is currently at least five years behind Qualcomm .
We believe Qualcomm’s 5G leadership will make Qualcomm the only modem provider for all Apple 5G devices over the next five-plus years.
Presumably, about 200 engineers are currently working at Apple who are developing the modem. In the future, the team will expand. But if the experts are right, we are unlikely to see an iPhone with Apple’s 5G modem until 2024. [ 9to5Mac ]