- Broadcom to supply billions of dollars worth of 5G components to Apple
- Other subcontractors are there, including Qualcomm
- Eventually, iPhones could have a proprietary modem
Apple has just signed a multi-billion dollar contract with one of its key subcontractors, Broadcom. The agreement, which runs for several years, stipulates in particular that the company will have to provide 5G technologies to Cupertino, probably for the iPhone. This even though until now, it was mainly Qualcomm’s dedicated modems that were the talk of the town. But lately, analysts have been loudly assuming that iPhones will one day come up with their own proprietary connection solution, at least as far as design goes. And for good reason: it will always take service providers for the final stage, as long as the headed factories do not come out of the ground.
According to the press release shared by Apple on the occasion, this major event is part of a major investment of 430 billion dollars in the United States, dedicated to supporting the local economy during the five years coming. It is thus a question of producing at Uncle Sam’s, with inevitably much higher costs than the Asian workforce. But this one worries, in particular at the height since the geopolitical question of Taiwan is not decided. It is on the island that all Apple silicon chips are assembled, but it is still in China that most iPhones are finished.
A still hesitant adoption
Despite everything, even today, 5G is quite discreet in the European landscape. Only 4% of the inhabitants would thus be subscribers – according to figures from 2021 signed GSMA. A number that could climb to 44% by 2025, when some are already seeing the Apple Car.
On iPhone, Apple is however trying to offer some changes, with for example the arrival of an option to force the 5G connection if the user does not wish to go through other mobile data standards. But the associated mobile plans still represent only a negligible share of the revenues generated by the various operators today, with only three million subscribers in mainland France (ARCEP, 2022 figures).
What is your iPhone made of?
Under the hood of the iPhone, there is anyway not only Broadcom or Qualcomm hardware, far from it. Still on the sensor side, we can also cite the case of Sony, which has been equipping American mobiles with its technology for many years. The Japanese would also have received other new orders from Apple, for the LiDAR allowing the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max to benefit from a better experience in augmented reality.
The screen, for its part, is due to the know-how of Samsung, BOE Electronics and LG Display. But here too, everything suggests that Apple has more than one trick up its sleeve to get rid of the competition…