Noted tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has made another claim regarding Apple’s upcoming iPhones. In an investor’s note seen by MacRumors, he claimed that Apple would launch the 2023 iPhones with its own 5G cellular modem inside it. He predicts that “the iPhone will adopt Apple’s own design of 5G baseband chips in 2023 at the earliest”. 2023 is quite far away, and considering how fast things change in the world of technology, it seems farther still. But if this prediction happens to be true, then Apple would have taken another step towards self-reliance with it ditching the Qualcomm 5G baseband chips for its own, as it did with the Intel chips, putting its own M1 chips inside the MacBooks, the iMacs and the new 2021 iPad Pro lineup.
That Apple is working on its own 5G modem is not an entirely fresh piece of rumour and it has been reported earlier also.
Kuo says that with Apple building its own 5G baseband chips, the competitive pressure is set to build, with Qualcomm and MediaTek having less bargaining power over brands. “As Android sales in the high-end 5G phone market are sluggish, Qualcomm will be forced to compete for more orders in the low-end market to compensate for Apple’s order loss. When the supply constraints improve, MediaTek and Qualcomm will have less bargaining power over brands, resulting in significantly higher competitive pressure in the mid to low- end market”, so predicts Kuo in his note.
The tech analyst earlier claimed that Apple will launch the sixth-generation iPad mini in the second half of 2021. Apple didn’t announce the iPad mini during the Spring Loaded event, only focussing on the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the iMacs, all powered by the tech giant’s own M1 chip. This led to the speculation that perhaps Apple was considering launching the iPad mini later in the first half of 2021. But Kuo’s claim has quashed these rumours, predicting the launch to be deferred to the second half. The upcoming iPad mini is expected to come with an 8.4-inch display and be powered by the M1 chip. Apple last refreshed the iPad mini lineup with the iPad mini 5 in March 2019.