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Home / News / Qualcomm’s new tech could bring lightning-fast connection speeds to the iPhone 17

Qualcomm’s new tech could bring lightning-fast connection speeds to the iPhone 17

Qualcomm new modem will harness integrated AI to enable the next generation of 5G

Titanium iPhone on black background

Qualcomm has just unveiled the Snapdragon X80 modem at MWC 2024. It claims to be the world’s most advanced 5G modem system, harnessing integrated AI to enable the next generation of 5G.

Could the Snapdragon X80 find its way into a future iPhone? Despite reportedly working on its own modem for years, Apple has continued to use Qualcomm-branded modems in all of its recent smartphones.

In fact, you’ll find Qualcomm modems in most of the smartphones in our best smartphone guide and our best iPhone guide.

For example, the iPhone 15 uses the Snapdragon X70, and the iPhone 16 Pro is expected to use the updated Snapdragon X75. Logic would dictate, then, that the iPhone 17 Pro will make the jump to the Snapdragon X80.

What upgrades does the Snapdragon X80 bring? The seventh generation 5G modem integrates a dedicated 5G AI Processor and 5G-Advanced-ready architecture, helping it achieve several world’s first milestones.

It’s the first 5G modem with fully integrated satellite communications support and promises to improve data speeds, latency, quality of service, coverage, location accuracy, spectrum efficiency, power efficiency and multi-antenna management.

Qualcomm claims consumer devices powered by Snapdragon X80 will launch in the second half of 2024, although, as we’ve already stated, don’t expect to see it in an Apple device until 2025.

But what about Apple’s own modem? Despite reportedly having worked on it since 2018, there are no guarantees that it will ever materialise. It’s also worth noting that Apple extended its 5G modem agreement with Qualcomm to 2026.

Aside from the modem, the iPhone 17 is shaping up to be an exciting update for Apple, with rumours suggesting it will drop the Dynamic Island in favour of a more full-screen, edge-to-edge approach.

 Now check out the best mid-range smartphones and the best cheap phones.

Profile image of Spencer Hart Spencer Hart Buying Guide Editor

About

As Buying Guide Editor, Spencer is responsible for all e-commerce content on Stuff, overseeing buying guides as well as covering deals and new product launches. Spencer has been writing about consumer tech for over eight years. He has worked on some of the biggest publications in the UK, where he covered everything from the emergence of smartwatches to the arrival of self-driving cars. During this time, Spencer has become a seasoned traveller, racking up air miles while travelling around the world reviewing cars, attending product launches, and covering every trade show known to man, from Baselworld and Geneva Motor Show to CES and MWC. While tech remains one of his biggest passions, Spencer also enjoys getting hands-on with the latest luxury watches, trying out new grooming kit, and road-testing all kinds of vehicles, from electric scooters to supercars.

Areas of expertise

Watches, travel, grooming, transport, tech

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