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Kuo points to the iPhone adopting it's first home-grown 5G modem in 2023 and notes that 5G momentum will slow without a Killer App

1 cover Apple's own 5G modem for iPhones


Today, Tianfeng International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a report mainly about 5G modems in the Android market being under pressure, especially for Qualcomm as MediaTek gains market share. However, Kuo did predict that the iPhone is expected to adopt an Apple-designed 5G baseband chip as soon as 2023 which will complicate matters for Qualcomm.


A rumor in 2019 claimed that Apple was aiming to deliver their first home-developed 5G modem by late 2022. Apparently the testing and certification work involved with their first modem is taking a little longer than hoped for.


Kuo believes that Qualcomm will be forced to win more orders in the low-end of the market to make up for the loss of Apple's 5G orders.  


Currently, MediaTek‚Äôs 5G SoC market share has beaten Qualcomm, reaching 50%-55% in the first quarter of 2021, and is expected to increase slightly to 55%-60% in the second quarter of 2021. However, Qualcomm still leads in the high-end SoC market due to orders for iPhone 12 and 13.  


Guo Mingchi said that the Chinese market is the fastest growing market for 5G in the world. According to the latest survey, the penetration rate of 5G mobile phones shipped in April exceeded 80% in the Chinese market, but the channel inventory was about 9.5 weeks, reaching a historical high, which was significantly higher than normal inventory. The water level is 4 to 6 weeks high. This phenomenon reflects the lack of killer applications for 5G smartphones , resulting in sluggish demand.


The global Android phones may face structural risks of long-term sluggish demand. Read one of the most substantial reports on Kuo's report here.


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