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A new report by supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reveals that Apple is still two years away from introducing its own 5G modem. No other details have been divulged, but the claim might suggest that the iPhone 17 series and the next iPhone SE would be the first smartphones to get Apple’s 5G modem.

Kuo shared the information while discussing Qualcomm’s battle against Huawei. According to the analyst, Qualcomm will face a potential risk in 2025 once Apple pushes its plan to use its own 5G modem for its iPhones.

Based on the current series Apple is offering and its annual release of new models, we could expect that the iPhone 17 models would get the said modem. In case this happens, it might also mean that we will get future iPhone lineups sporting the Apple-designed component.

On the other hand, the 2025 timeframe might also be an indication of the release year of the rumored next-generation iPhone SE. There are a lot of varying claims regarding this matter, with analyst Jeff Pu claiming it will indeed be released in 2025. However, Kuo contradicted the claim in April, saying it would only be limited to prototypes.

“I previously predicted that the iPhone SE 4 would be a derivative model of the iPhone 14,” Kuo tweeted. “However, my latest research indicates that this derivative model will likely be an engineering prototype for Apple in-house 5G baseband chip technology and mass production validation, and there are no plans for mass production and sales.”

While Kuo said the iPhone SE 4 wouldn’t hit the stores, the analyst said months ago that it would pave the way to the mass production of the Apple-designed 5G modem. “I believe that the mass production schedule for Apple in-house 5G baseband chip will largely hinge on the test results of this engineering prototype,” Kuo explained. “Consequently, mass production could commence as early as 2025. But if testing falls below expectations, the schedule may be pushed back to 2026 or later.”

While it sounds disappointing, Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O’Malley, who reportedly consulted companies within Apple’s supply chain, have recently said that this won’t be the case as the model wouldn’t just be pushed in 2024.

Further reviving the possibility of a new iPhone SE model is a report from the Chinese website ITHome, which said that Chinese companies started courting Apple to be its display manufacturer for the rumored phone. It shared that an Apple employee visited different huge OLED panel production sites in China during the first half of the year. The visitation is reportedly related to the ‌iPhone SE‌, with BOE and Tianma mentioned as two of the companies to get supply orders from Apple.

If the above claims are true and the new iPhone SE is confirmed coming, we might indeed witness the arrival of the Apple-created 5G modem in 2025.


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