iPhone 16 5G upgrade seemingly confirmed by Qualcomm

Iphone 12 5g
(Image credit: Apple)

The CEO and President of Qualcomm says that the company expects Apple to use its own modem in products like the iPhone 16 in 2024, seemingly confirming multiple rumors that Apple plans to shift products to its own in-house chip for 5G connectivity. 

Speaking at Tech Things, hosted by WSJ's Joanna Stern at MWC 2023 in Barcelona, Cristiano Amon told attendees "we expect that Apple will do their own modem in 2024, but if they need ours they know where to find us." 

iPhone 16 5G

The confession from Qualcomm follows reports as recent as January 2023 suggesting that Apple plans to drop both Qualcomm and Broadcom in favor of its own in-house modem, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth chips across its product line. 

Bloomberg reported in January that Apple want to make its own chip for 5G connectivity, but stated that Apple's project was delayed until at least 2025. Now, Qualcomm, the very company that supplies all of Apple's best iPhones with 5G chips, has publicly stated that Apple may offer its own chip next year, likely with the iPhone 16. Qualcomm looks like a lock to supply 5G for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro, however, but this is a serious bit of future business Qualcomm is losing out on. 

Just as with Apple silicon, moving to in-house designed chips from Apple should pave the way for more technological advancements to iPhone 5G performance including speed and reliability. Apple's move away from Intel has seen its Mac lineup become absolutely dominant in terms of power-to-watt chip performance. Hopefully, Apple creating its own 5G chips could do the same for iPhone connectivity. It would also save Apple money in licensing fees. 

In the meantime, Apple is expected to debut its new iPhone 15 in September, featuring an all-new design, USB-C, camera upgrades, a Dynamic Island across the range, and more. 

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