Among handset makers, Samsung, Huawei and others have integrated 5G basebands into self-research processors, making them industry leaders, and Apple is said to have similar layout plans, but the details are still dominated by uncorroborated rumors. One thing to be sure of, however, is that the baseband chip will take a few years to develop, during which time Apple still relies on a mature three-way supplier.
According tomedia reports, a document released by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) reveals parts of the supply agreement signed by Apple and Qualcomm after the ice release, some of which are hidden in sensitive price, but still have a lot of useful information.
Simply put, Apple will buy Qualcomm’s 5G baseband for at least the next four years. Of these, X55 is used from June 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021, X60 from June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022, and X65 or X70 from June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2022.
Of course, there is speculation that Apple may be able to adopt a Samsung-like approach, in which some iPhones/iPads will use a full range of autonomous options when the base band is ready, while others will still be able to buy Qualcomm chips.
The X55 baseband is also currently used on SnapDragon865 5G phones, which support snare s2G-5G global all-net access and are compatible with sub 6GHz and mmWave mm wave bands. Judging at least by the deal, there should be no suspense in this fall’s iPhone 12 series.