Apple is reportedly working on another move towards complete independence from other companies and is creating its own cellular modem for future devices.
The development has been confirmed by Apple’s top chip executive, Johny Srouji. This move will decrease Apple’s reliance on suppliers like Qualcomm as the californian-based company uses Qualcomm’s components for 5G connectivity.
Apple has used Qualcomm’s parts in it’s latest iPhone 12 models that have 5G.
“This year, we kicked off the development of our first internal cellular modem which will enable another key strategic transition,” he told Bloomberg. “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”.
Before using Qualcomm’s components, Apple used Intel’s parts for the modem and then later on purchased the business unit from Intel.
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This move is being made possible because of $1 million acquisition by Apple of Intel’s model business back in 2019. It has helped the OEM to build a team of hardware and software engineers to develop its own cellular modem.
It is still not confirmed when Apple’s devices will have its own modem inside the devices but as per a patent agreement of 2019, Apple and Qualcomm have a six-year licensing deal and the chipmaker charges a license fee to OEMs regardless of the use of Qualcomm’s tech by the smartphone makers.
Qualcomm gets about 11% of its revenue from Apple, while Intel gets roughly 7% of sales from the iPhone maker, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. As said above, this move will make Apple more self-dependent.
Apple did a similar move with its own M1 chip at the expense of Intel’s chips and the chip has already shown what it is capable of and how much better it is than Intel’s chips.
The new modem will join the list of few wireless chips that Apple already manufactures including the W-series in the Apple Watch and the U1 ultrawide-band chip in the iPhone for precise location information.