Technology analyst Jeff Pu, in a research note with Haitong International Securities, has indicated a potential shift in Apple’s strategy for its iPhone 16 series.
According to Pu, while the iPhone 16 Pro models are anticipated to feature the new Snapdragon X75 modem by Qualcomm, the standard iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus models are likely to retain the Snapdragon X70 modem, currently used in all iPhone 15 models.
The Snapdragon X75 modem, unveiled in February 2023, is a significant upgrade over its predecessor. It offers enhanced carrier aggregation and technological improvements that result in faster 5G download and upload speeds compared to the X70.
Notably, this modem reduces the required circuit board space by 25% and cuts power usage by up to 20%, as reported by The Verge.
Moreover, the X75 modem supports the cutting-edge “5G Advanced” standard, touted as the next step in 5G evolution and a bridge towards 6G.
This standard incorporates artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize 5G performance, and expands 5G’s applicability to a broader range of devices and scenarios.
It is speculated that Apple will heavily promote the 5G Advanced capabilities in the iPhone 16 Pro models, mirroring its marketing approach with LTE Advanced for the iPhone 6s in 2015.
While Apple has been rumored to be developing its own 5G modem since 2018, challenges in development have delayed its debut, with no announcement expected until at least 2025. In the interim, Apple has extended its agreement with Qualcomm for 5G modems through 2026.
The tech giant is poised to unveil the iPhone 16 lineup in September, where the speculation around modem differentiation may be confirmed.