Apple Extends Modem Chip Deal With Qualcomm Until March 2027

By Jace Dela Cruz

Feb 01, 2024 12:12 AM EST

Apple has opted to extend its licensing agreement with Qualcomm for modem chips, Qualcomm disclosed during its first earnings call this year. 

(Photo : JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images)
This illustration photograph taken on September 13, 2023 in Paris with a macro lens shows reversed information of an iPhone 12 reflected in the Apple logo of an iphone, as French regulators ordered Apple to halt sales of the iPhone 12 and to fix existing handsets for emitting too much electromagnetic radiation.

Apple Extends Modem Chip Agreement With Qualcomm

According to MacRumors, this move adds two more years, pushing the existing agreement until March 2027. This development solidifies the continuation of Qualcomm modems in upcoming iPhone generations, maintaining a longstanding partnership between the two tech giants.

Ben Bajarin, CEO of Creative Strategies, also confirmed Apple's decision to extend the agreement in an X post. 

"In an also not surprising development, on the @Qualcomm call, it was mentioned: Apple exercised its unilateral option to extend its global patent license agreement for an additional two years, taking the existing agreement through to March 2027," he said

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Apple's Original Goal of Introducing In-House Modem Chip

While Apple has been actively pursuing the development of its in-house 5G modem chip in the past few years, this extended deal indicates that the tech giant has yet to finalize and integrate its proprietary modem technology.

The original goal was to reduce dependence on Qualcomm for 5G chips and introduce an Apple-designed modem chip by 2024. Last November, Bloomberg reported the postponement of the release of Apple's modem chip until late 2025 or early 2026.

The initial target of introducing the Apple-designed modem chip in a spring 2025 iPhone SE launch became unattainable. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman remarked that Apple was still "years away" from developing a chip that could match or surpass the performance of Qualcomm's chips. 

The recent extension of the licensing agreement signifies Apple's reliance on Qualcomm's modem technology for the next few iPhone generations. Despite Apple's ongoing efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in modem chip production, challenges and delays have hindered the realization of this goal. 

The partnership extension indicates that Qualcomm's technology will continue to play a crucial role in Apple's mobile devices until Apple can successfully bring its modem chip to market. 

READ MORE: Apple's Market Cap Climbs Back Above $3 Trillion for the First Time Since August

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