Apple has reportedly contracted TSMC to manufacture custom 5G modems for its 2023 iPhone lineup. This will help the company reduce its dependency on Qualcomm for key components. The company has been preparing to shift to its own designed modems for several years, and it even acquired a majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business back in 2019 to do just that.
According to a report by Nikkei Asia citing people familiar with the matter, Apple has contracted TSMC to manufacture its custom-designed 5G modems, which will help reduce its dependency on Qualcomm. The company is also working on radio frequency and millimetre wave components that will be a part of the new 5G modem. Apart from this, the report also mentions that the company is said to be working on its own power management chip.
This new report corroborates a recent Qualcomm statement where the company had said that it only expects to account for 20 percent of iPhone modem orders by 2023.
Apple currently uses Qualcomm manufactured modems inside of its iPhones. If this report is true then Apple will manage to improve its profit margins.
Apple is apparently in the progress of testing its in-house 5G modem manufactured using TSMC’s 5nmprocess. However, the company might switch to the 4nm process for mass production.
In other news, several reports have emerged stating that TSMC is planning to shift to the new 4nm architecture for the next-gen Bionic A-series chipset, which will power the iPhone 14 series. The company has also apparently opted to use the 3nm process to manufacture the chips that will power the next-gen iPads.
Apart from the Bionic A-series chipsets, TSMC is also the main manufacturer that fabricates the new M1 SoCs powering the new MacBooks and the iPad Pro.
While the iPhone 14 is far in the future, Apple is expected to launch its next-gen iPhone 14 series in the second half of 2022. Reports indicate that the device will feature a major redesign.
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