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Apple's in-house Wi-Fi chips probably won't make it into the iPhone 17

Wi-Fi chips for the iPhone 17 may still be supplied by a third-party source

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Apple probably won't be using in-house Wi-Fi chip designs in its 2025 iPhone lineup, with industry sources claiming it will too hard to reach the goal in the next two years.

Apple has steadily been bringing the designs of various components in-house, providing it with ways to dictate the capabilities and features of the parts used in iPhone, iPad, and other hardware. However, despite investing in the creation of Wi-Fi chips, it is doubted that it will appear within the next two generations of iPhone.

Sources of DigiTimes say that Apple has invested heavily into Wi-Fi chip development, in a similar manner to its 5G modem chip work. But, just like the 5G chip struggles forcing Apple to extend its work with Qualcomm, the iPhone maker's apparently running into bottlenecks on Wi-Fi too.

Reports of the Wi-Fi project being paused in January and a team reorganization apparently didn't help with the schedule.

The sources added that Wi-Fi chip supplier Broadcom and 5G modem producer Qualcomm have "substantial experience and patented technologies" in the wireless sector, making the barrier to entry to the fields very high, even for Apple.

The difficulty in production means there's less confidence in Apple meeting market speculation that a switch to its own Wi-Fi chips in 2025. To catch up with market heavyweight Broadcom in such a short timeframe would be a considerable challenge to meet.

Though an introduction in the 2025 iPhone lineup doesn't seem plausible to the sources, they added it would be more reasonable for Apple to initially bring the chips out in non-mainstream applications.

While there's the intention of using them in the iPhone at some point, there's a need for Apple to avoid making mistakes with the component. But, as they also need to have the same level of connectivity and power consumption as Broadcom's chips, doing so quickly will be a tall order.

The report's sources add that, short of recruiting elite teams and putting significantly more investment into the project, it's unlikely that Apple will achieve what it needs to in the short timespan.

A better plan, the report offers, would be to delay the introduction of Wi-Fi chips and to use third-party sources like Broadcom for a while longer, rather than excessively spend on the project to get it done faster. The sources also believe that maintaining a main focus on the processing chips in its A-series, would be a better option.