For quite some time, it has been reported that Apple is developing a custom-designed 5G modem for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
The WSJ believes that if the company succeeds in designing another in-house chip that will pave the way for the development of AR-related wearables like glasses in the future, along with creating other opportunities for the company.
Currently, the 5G modem used in iPhone 12 series and newer models and iPad Pro (2021), iPad Air 5, and iPad mini 6, are manufactured by Qualcomm.
An in-house 5G modem will be very beneficial for Apple
After successfully designing A-series processors for iPhone and Apple Silicon for Macs, the Cupertino tech giant has its eyes set on building the chips that can communicate with the internet more efficiently, faster data transfer rates, and lower latency, than the currently available 5G modems.
Although Apple, usually, never shares its future products or plans, the company’s recent actions suggest it is pursuing the development of a 5G modem, actively. Starting with the agreement to acquire Intel’s smartphone-modem business in 2019, other signposts like listing jobs related to developing and integrating mobile modems in San Diego, and Irvine.
The publisher believes that the new chip will not only offer hardware benefits to the tech giant but also reduce its dependence on suppliers. Some listed advantages are:
- Reduction in cost of 5G-enabled devices.
- Liberate the tech giant from being dependent on suppliers.
- The company can offer more innovative features.
- Lead to the development of AR-enabled devices like Apple Glasses.
Previously, it was reported that the tech giant is going to ship 2023 iPhone models with its own 5G modem manufactured by TSMC. In reference to the 2023 launch time frame of the custom-mobile modem chip, the report states that no one but the company can give a precise release time.
Prakash Sangam, founder of the tech research and advisory firm Tantra Analyst and a former wireless engineer at AT&T and director of marketing at Qualcomm said:
“People often compare how Apple developed its A-series chipsets on their own, and how quickly they were able to up their game, but in some ways a modem is more complex. In part, that complexity arises because a modem must handle such a wide variety of circumstances that can interfere with a signal—as Apple discovered during its infamous “Antennagate” episode more than a decade ago.
“If you throw enough time and resources and money at it, it can be done,” he adds. “But whether they can do it by 2023, I don’t think anyone other than Apple can say.”