5G is fairly unkind to your phone’s battery life, as iPhone 12 users know all too well. But Apple has plans in place to fix this for good with its iPhone 14 release…
When Apple finally brought 5G to its iPhone aboard the iPhone 12, it made sense. Nearly all Android phones released since 2019 had it, so Apple’s 2019 iPhone 11 range – despite having excellent performance – felt a little behind the times.
The inclusion of 5G inside the iPhone 12 was welcome but it did have a pretty significant effect on the phone’s battery life – it was four hours worse than the iPhone 11’s. And that is significant, especially when you’re trying to sell a new model as “better” than its predecessor.
The iPhone 13 was better than the iPhone 12 with 5G battery drain, thanks to its larger capacity internal batteries. But this was done through sheer brute numbers – bigger batteries mean longer battery life. And Apple doesn’t like doing this; it prefers smaller batteries, as few ports as possible, and more efficient chipsets.
How The iPhone 14 Will “Fix” 5G Battery Drain
In a bid to get around this issue on the iPhone 14, Apple is apparently switching modem suppliers. According to reports in the Chinese media, Apple will be using TSMC’s 5nm modems for all of its iPhone 14 models – not Qualcomm’s, as previously expected.
The reason for the switch relates to the size of the actual modems; TSMC’s new modems are 5nm, whereas Qualcomm’s next-gen Snapdragon modems range in size from 7nm to 10nm which is considerably larger. And larger chips are less efficient than smaller ones which is another way of saying they require more power.
In addition to this, Apple is apparently developing a new co-processor that will run alongside TSMC’s 7nm modem. The purpose of this co-processor will be to extract even more efficiency from TSMC’s modem. The end result? Massive power savings when your iPhone 14 is connected to and running 5G data – or, at least, that seems to be the plan Apple is working on at the moment.
Initially, this was believed to not be happening until 2023. Reports from 2021 claimed Apple was leveraging TSMC to build its first 5G modem. But recent leaks suggest this project has been fast-tracked for the iPhone 14, and not the iPhone 15 as previously thought. The iPhone 15 will still get it, of course, but sources believe Apple’s TSMC modem will be ready for release inside 2022’s iPhone range.
And Then Things Will Get Even Smaller
Once Apple has its new modem working, the Apple modem – or whatever it is branded as – will start to appear in all of its products, from its iPhones to its iPads and likely its MacBooks too. Nikkei reports that Apple is planning to develop a 3nm 5G modem for iPad in 2023.
Apple’s incoming range of M2 and M1 Pro / Pro Max Macs would also be a great place to leverage these new chips. The MacBook Air is designed to be ultra-portable, to work anywhere and everywhere, so it makes perfect sense to outfit Apple’s portable laptop computers with a 5G modem, especially if it brings with it such massive efficiency savings.
If you don’t have shares in TSMC, now might be the time to buy some…
And check out 3 Ways To See Your iPhone Battery Percentage %!
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.
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