Apple has decided to definitively abandon i chips at Broadcomreplacing them with modems designed in Cupertino that will provide connection to iPhones WiFi e Bluetoothwhich will also replace the chips of Qualcomm for the 5G. This new hardware will be able to handle all connections of Apple phones, with Apple aiming to improve performance (and above all optimize costs).
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Apple says hello to Broadcom, homemade iPhone modem chips for 5G, WiFi and Bluetooth
According to Bloomberg analyst Mark Gurman, who has several reliable contacts in Cupertino, the transition will happen very soon for Apple. Already in late 2024 or early 2025, it is expected to launch a chip for WiFi and Bluetooth. But Apple will later also replace Qualcomm components to build proprietary design chip for all your connections: even 5G and LTE ones. A change that Apple had already foreseen for some time, especially after the patent issue for which Apple had to pay (reluctantly) nearly a billion dollars to Broadcom.
Apple is the main customer of Broadcomfor which it builds chips that handle WiFi and Bluetooth, counting towards about 20% of the chip maker’s sales: let’s talk about 7 billion dollars the year. In fact, after this news it lost 4.7% on the stock exchange. But also Qualcomm depends on the Apple: the 22% (circa 10 billion dollars) of sales comes from Cupertino. Significant figures, especially if you think that the main processors of the iPhone and iPad are made by TSMC.
The iPhones are worth more than half of Apple’s revenue, which stood at $394.3 billion last year. When Cupertino changes a supplier, it shakes the entire market. Something we’ve already seen after Apple gave up its long partnership with Intel to focus on M chips designed in Cupertino (and built by TSMC).
An all-round chip for wireless connections
According to Gurman’s sources, Apple wants to replace Broadcom’s chips by integrating WiFi and Bluetooth into the chip that takes care of the 5G cellular network. This should bring hardware optimizations to iPhone that might speed up the response time of the smartphone as for the connections. But at the moment Cupertino remains silent: we will not have official news about it until the launch.
Broadcom will continue to make some components for the iPhone, such as those for la ricarica wireless MagSafe. But even for these parts it seems Apple wants to try to do everything by itself, with the possibility that it will also start manufacturing these chips in the near future.
However, it should be noted that Apple would have already wanted to start changing course this year. But it would appear that early testing has resulted in iPhones getting too hot, poor battery life, and problems filing for patents. In the 175 countries where Apple sells iPhones, there are more 100 wireless providers – making these chips isn’t easy. Apple cannot afford to present an iPhone with worse 5G and WiFi than the previous model: it will only be able to make this step if it is sure it is doing better than Broadcom and Qualcomm.
Internalizing these chips won’t be easy, even for Apple. This transition could therefore take longer than expected. We will keep you posted.