Apple might build its own modems. After using Qualcomm and Intel modems in iPhones for years, Apple is actively looking to build modems targeted toward iPhones, according to a report.
The rumor is outcome of Apple‘s recent job openings for two Cellular Modem Systems Architects in San Diego and Cupertino. Additionally, the company has posted multiple modem hardware- and firmware-related jobs in the past couple of months for its Berlin, San Diego, and Beijing locations.
According to The Information’s report, the development of chips would be years away, with even Apple’s purported 5G iPhone slated for 2020 using Intel’s in-development 5G modem instead. It makes sense logically, too — if Apple is only just starting to hire now, it’ll take at least a few years before it’ll actually be ready to ship hardware. If it would have happen, big ramifications for the mobile space, particularly for Qualcomm and Intel, two of the biggest modem suppliers in the world.
In recent years, Apple‘s relationship with Qualcomm has hit a sour patch due to a string of lawsuits. Because of that, Apple opted to use Intel modems in all three of its iPhones released in 2018. Additionally, Apple is reportedly exploring the possibility of launching a 5G-enabled iPhone in 2020. Meanwhile, if sources are to be believed, Intel modems are considerably slower than Qualcomm modems.
On the other hand, Apple has a great track record for developing chips. It has developed A-series processors used in iPhones from 2007. It’s A12 processors – used in the current generation of iPhones – believed to be among the top performers in the industry today. The company is also said to be working on its own ARM-based SoCs for use in Macs in 2020.
The Information notes that Apple is still in the early stages of developing this chip, so don’t expect to see this modem in an iPhone anytime soon.
If the move is going to be implemented this will make company to free itself from its reliance on chip suppliers. It’ll be interesting to see what becomes of Intel and Qualcomm’s businesses when Apple finally builds and uses its own modems in its iPhones.