Apple will reportedly design the antenna module for its new 5G iPhones in-house, following complaints from the version that Qualcomm had produced, according to Fast Company.
The report suggests that Apple executives “balked” when they saw the design of the new Qualcomm antenna module, complaining that it wouldn’t fit into Apple’s new-look iPhones.
Qualcomm will still be responsible for the 5G modem chip, but the antenna module will now be developed by Apple, primarily for design reasons rather than issues with its performance.
The company is reportedly working on another design of its iPhone that uses both the Qualcomm modem and the Qualcomm antenna as a backup, should its own module not work.
It has been suggested that this “backup” design would result in a thicker iPhone.
When Apple launched the iPhone 4, it ran into problems with its antenna design, which resulted in dropped phone calls.
What’s more, the company has been working on antenna designs behind the scenes ever since, and a Fast Company source has suggested that a recent mock-up from Apple required twice the battery power as a comparable antenna.
Another reason why Apple wants to use its own antennas on iPhones is to reduce its reliance on Qualcomm, as it’s “getting screwed on royalties,” limiting its earnings potential.
Apple is also reportedly working on its own modems for future iPhones, to further reduce its reliance on Qualcomm and create an iPhone that has been designed entirely in-house.
Last year, Apple purchased Intel’s modem business to assist with its expansion into the sector.
The company is widely expected to release four new 5G-capable iPhones in September, including two successors to the iPhone 11 and a successor to the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max.
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