MediaTek may infiltrate Apple’s supply chain through non-mainstream goods such as Apple TV, and Apple may manufacture its own Wi-Fi chips around 2025, according to reports in the press. The new iPhone 17 incorporates Wi-Fi processors.
Apple wants to control the Wi-Fi chip supply chain. However, industry insiders told Digitimes that based on current rumored progress and several technical constraints, Apple will encounter significant problems in delivering a self-developed Wi-Fi chip in 2025.
It is reported that, in addition to investing extensively in 5G modem chips, Apple is also heavily investing in developing its own Wi-Fi chips. However, the project was stopped due to constraints, and the team was reformed.
Apple’s self-developed Wi-Fi chip has encountered obstacles
When combined with Apple’s continuous collaboration with Qualcomm in the development of 5G modem chips, it demonstrates that catching up in the field of wireless chips is difficult.
According to industry experts, mainstream market businesses like Broadcom and Qualcomm have extensive experience and patented technology in the field of wireless connectivity. The obstacles to entry are extremely high, whether it is wireless or wired network chips.
Broadcom is still Apple’s primary supplier of Wi-Fi chips, according to IT House. As a result, the market believes that when Apple switches to self-developed Wi-Fi chips in 2025, Broadcom will be the first to suffer. Despite this, the industry is typically skeptical of Apple’s self-developed Wi-Fi processors.
Broadcom is not only the market leader in smartphone Wi-Fi, but also the market leader in the overall Wi-Fi market. It is undeniably difficult for Apple to outperform Broadcom’s goods in such a short period.
According to industry sources in integrated circuit design, Apple would be better off introducing self-developed chips into non-mainstream applications first. However, from 5G modems to Wi-Fi processors, all indications indicate that Apple will incorporate them directly into the iPhone. The iPhone, being the backbone of Apple’s product range, has no room for error.
To prevent dragging down iPhone sales, Apple’s self-developed chips must offer the same connectivity performance and power consumption as Broadcom and Qualcomm chips.
According to industry insiders, unless Apple can poach or build an elite team and devote massive resources in research and development, it will be unable to develop a viable wireless network chip shortly. From another angle, it’s debatable whether putting so much effort into non-core chips that can be bought elsewhere is more cost-effective than acquiring them.
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Market participants recommended that instead of getting sidetracked by various peripheral chips, Apple could consider focusing its main resources on high-performance processor chips to ensure it remains competitive in the era of high-speed computing.