Home / iPhone / Apple planned to introduce its own 5G chips in now-canceled iPhone SE 4 next year

Apple planned to introduce its own 5G chips in now-canceled iPhone SE 4 next year

Apple has been reportedly developing a so-called iPhone SE fourth-gen, but a new report affirms that no such product will ship. iPhone SE 4 was said to resemble the iPhone XR and iPhone 11 physical design, but include 5G connectivity and other modern specs. Being canceled rather than delayed is said to predominantly benefit Qualcomm.

That’s because supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo asserts that Apple planned to introduce its first in-house cellular modem in the iPhone SE 4 next year.

“Due to concerns that the performance of the in-house baseband chip may not be up to par with Qualcomm’s, Apple initially planned to launch its baseband chip in 2024 and let the low-end iPhone SE 4 adopt it first, and decide whether to let the iPhone 16 use its baseband chip depending on the development status of iPhone SE 4,” writes Kuo.

“However, the cancelation of the iPhone SE 4 has significantly increased the chances of Qualcomm remaining the exclusive supplier of baseband chips for the 2H24 new iPhone 16 series, which is better than the market consensus that Qualcomm will start losing iPhone orders in 2024.”

With the iPhone SE 4 off the table, seemingly entirely, Qualcomm will remain Apple’s sole supplier of iPhone broadband chips throughout next year.

Qualcomm and Apple battle over 5G

Kuo previously reported that the fate of the iPhone SE 4 was partially undecided, but Apple was deciding between a delayed release or a cancellation all together. The analyst cites supply chain sources who have reportedly received guidance from Apple that indicates no such phone will come to market.

Apple famously battled Qualcomm in court over patent disagreements regarding cellular modem technology used in iPhones. Ultimately, Apple acquired Intel’s modem business and paid up for use of Qualcomm’s broadband chips. Meanwhile, Apple has continued to develop its own in-house cellular modems, but no iPhone will use these until 2025 at the earliest based on Kuo’s timeline.

Apple currently sells a third-generation iPhone SE with 5G support and a design based on the iPhone 8.

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