Apple is moving closer to fitting its iPhone and iPad devices with modems made in-house, a new report has revealed.
The company is developing an in-house modem that will enable cellular connectivity for calls and data on its devices, which will in-turn result in a transition from Qualcomm-made technology.
Apple is using the intellectual property and team it acquired from Intel when it bought the majority of the chipmaker’s modem business in the summer of 2019. Apple paid $1 billion in the deal, which saw 2,000 engineers make the switch to Apple.
Now, during an employee meeting reported by Bloomberg, Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technologies, revealed the development of an Apple-made modem is well underway.
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“This year, we kicked off the development of our first internal cellular modem which will enable another key strategic transition,” he said. “Long-term strategic investments like these are a critical part of enabling our products and making sure we have a rich pipeline of innovative technologies for our future.”
Having its own modem technology will give Apple more freedom from the whims and development cycles of partners like Qualcomm and Intel, enabling the company to tailor precise specifications for Apple products.
It’s not clear when the modem will be ready for use in the first Apple product, but it’s likely to be at least a couple of years from now. Perhaps by the time the iPhone 14 rolls around, we’ll see it rocking an Apple-made 5G cellular modem?
The switch to homegrown modems comes as Apple transitions away from another legacy provider when it comes to Mac computers. Last month Apple released its first Macs containing the new M1 processors, replacing Intel chips. The firm plans to complete the switch by the end of 2022.
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