Apple has started working on creating its own cellular modem to use for LTE and 5G in future products, as per an announcement during an internal meeting. This would allow the company to replace Qualcomm’s cellular modems that are currently used in iPhone and iPad.
The company previously using Intel’s modems before switching back to Qualcomm’s modems after settling a lawsuit with the company, however, its long term plans were reportedly focused on creating its in-house solution.
Apple is working on its own 5G modem for iPhone and iPad
As reported by Bloomberg, Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technologies shared the announcement during a town hall meeting at Apple.
“This year, we kicked off the development of our first internal cellular modem which will enable another key strategic transition. 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.”
In 2019, Apple and Qualcomm signed a six-year licensing deal which means that Apple’s cellular modem creation efforts might not bear fruit anytime soon. To this purpose, Apple had also acquired Intel’s modem business last year for $1 billion to build its own in-house team to develop cellular modems. The company already has experience with building wireless W-series chips for Apple Watch and U1 ultrawide-band chip for iPhone.
Johny Srouji also announced that the company is working on a family of Mac chips, which is perhaps common knowledge by now as Apple had officially announced its plans before.
Bloomberg reports that Qualcomm’s 11% revenue and Intel’s 7% sales come from Apple, and the company has been working towards its owner replacement chips that it gets from both these suppliers. The effort required to create in-house chips is not easy by any means, but Apple has the experience, and enough money in the bank, to plan long term and work on its own solutions which should let it provide the best end-to-end experience for its customers.
Apple recently rolled out its M1 chip for MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini and it has received tremendous reception by shocking people how well it performs when compared to Intel and AMD’s offerings while consuming a fraction of the power.