DigiTimes: iPhone 12 to feature Qualcomm's X60 modem, not the X55

Iphone 12 Design Leak
Iphone 12 Design Leak (Image credit: EverythingApplePro)

What you need to know

  • DigiTimes says TSMC is to begin work on iPhone components later this month.
  • It says it will be making the A14 processor and Qualcomm's X60 modem.
  • That would be a big change from the previously rumored X55 that the iPhone 12 was thought to feature.

A new report from DigiTimes suggests that the iPhone 12's modem may be even more powerful than we'd previously thought.

Early rumors had suggested Apple would adopt the Qualcomm X55 modem in the iPhone 12, however, this latest report says that Apple may actually use Qualcomm's newer X60 instead.

According to the report:

TSMC is expected to the start production of A14 processor on 5nm process later this month for Apple's upcoming iPhone, which sources say will adop Qualcomm's X60 modem, allowing the 5G iPhone to support both mmWave and sub-6GHz bands. While it remains to be seen how much momentum Apple can inject into the handset market later this year, notebook ODM Wistron is conservative about third-quarter 2020, and Wistron's chairman does not expect a V-shape recovery in the post-pandemic global economy. For China's major panel makers, BOE and CSOT, the pandemic is not deterring their ambition of replacing Korean competitors as leaders in the LCD market.

Last year Nikkei Asian Review reported that the iPhone would feature Qualcomm's X55 modem, as did analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Those rumors came out prior to Qualcomm's release of its latest Snapdragon chip, the X60. The chip is the world's first 5nm modem to support 5G. According to Qualcomm, the chip has a smaller footprint compared to the X55 and better power efficiency. It would allow the iPhone to use a mixture of frequency bands for mobile data for "an optimal combination of high-speed and low-latency network coverage."

Previously, it had been rumored that this chip would not feature in the iPhone until 2021. It could be that delays to prototyping and the iPhone's launch caused by COVID-19 have allowed Apple to incorporate Qualcomm's latest release.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9