Seems like Qualcomm’s antennae are too big for Apple and that’s why the iPhone maker is designing the antenna module that will be used in its 5G iPhones. According to a report in Fast Company, in a year where the 5G radio will be the new iPhone’s spotlight feature, Apple has decided to design the phone’s antenna itself.
Apple balked at the QTM 525 millimeter-wave antenna module offered to it by Qualcomm because it doesn’t fit into the sleek industrial design Apple wants for the new phone, a source with knowledge of Apple’s plans told Fast Company on Friday. However, chipset making giant Qualcomm will still provide the 5G modem chip used in the new iPhones.
However, Apple typically designs on several tracks, and it’s concurrently working on another design that uses both the Qualcomm modem and antenna. It could default to this option later this year, our source said. But that would require Apple to settle for a slightly thicker iPhone than it wants. Qualcomm has said that its QTM 525 antenna module will “support 5G smartphone designs sleeker than 8 millimeters thick”, the report added.
Apple is rumored to launch as many as six iPhone models this year, including four premium ones as part of its flagship series and two ‘affordable’ ones as follow-ups to the original iPhone SE. All four premium models are expected to come with 5G connectivity, while the iPhone SE successor, expected to be designed along the lines of the iPhone 8, is rumored to be launched next month.