System Plus Consulting has published a report providing insights into the technology and cost for the RF front-end modules and selected components found in 18 smartphones from the Apple iPhone since 2016. The report is titled The RF Front-End Module Comparison 2021 – Vol. 1 – Focus on Apple. .

“Apple’s dependency on specific component manufacturers is clearly underlined in this report, along with the different choices for integration of communication technology, even mmWave signal support in the latest generation. Our study also reveals how Apple maintains its leadership on the premium market,” said Stéphane Elisabeth, PhD, a cost analyst in RF and advanced packaging at System Plus Consulting.

“In the iPhone series from 2016 to 2020, Apple’s strategy was to reduce the RF area size with a decrease of the board level at first until 2017.” said Elisabeth. “But since, the board is increasing along with a stabilization of the RF share, mainly even with 5G integration. Between 2017 and 2020, Intel was the only modem and transceiver (RxTx) supplier for Apple. Qualcomm, who lost the market in 2017, is getting in the iPhone design in 2020 and is likely to be kept in 2021 because of the 5G. In 2022, in-house modem and RxTx could be expected from Apple.

System Plus Consulting and its partner, Yole Développement, both part of Yole Group of Companies, investigate disruptive RF technologies and related markets in depth.

Yole also released a report, 5G’s Impact on RF Front-End and Connectivity for Cellphones 2020 report, end of 2020. This edition gives a detailed analysis of each RF technology’s strengths and weaknesses and looks at the ecosystem, including market trends and forecasts, market share, ecosystem and an analysis of the U.S./China trade war. Yole’s study also addresses COVID-19’s impact on the RF front-end and connectivity business.