Already in 2022, Apple wants to release its own first modem for iPhone smartphones. It will support 5G and will be implemented in the SoC (system-on-a-chip) system.
Fast Company informs that Apple plans to complete all work related to the new modem in 2022 in order to be able to implement them on iPhones from the same year. It's all about design, testing and certification. The two-year deadline for creating a modem from scratch seems to be a very ambitious plan and will certainly be a challenge for Apple.
One of the major problems is to be network optimization, or rather testing. This is necessary to ensure that the frequencies of different operators will not interfere with each other's operation. These tests are also intended to confirm compliance with global requirements for cellular networks and FCC certification. Considering these problems, the source of the leak rather mentions the year 2023 as the more likely date of completion and introduction of the modem into production.
Despite Apple's purchase of Intel's part of the modem development and design department, this task can be difficult to accomplish. Intel did not really handle the production of modems, it is even said that every second modem leaving the factory was out of order and did not pass quality control. Apple probably can handle it, while modem design and testing are rather new to Tim Cook's company.
For now, Apple plans to use Qualcomm modems in its first 5G-enabled smartphones next year. The modem supply contract was concluded for six years, so it's possible that only selected iPhones will get an Apple modem.