Report: Apple to roll its own modems

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Probably not in time for 5G, but better late than never.


From Reuters’ “Apple puts modem engineering unit into chip design group“:

Apple Inc has moved its modem chip engineering effort into its in-house hardware technology group from its supply chain unit, two people familiar with the move told Reuters, a sign the tech company is looking to develop a key component of its iPhones after years of buying it from outside suppliers.

Modems are an indispensable part of phones and other mobile devices, connecting them to wireless data networks. Apple once used Qualcomm Inc chips exclusively but began phasing in Intel Corp chips in 2016 and dropped Qualcomm from iPhones released last year…

Apple’s investment in modem chips comes as carriers and other phone makers are rolling out devices for the next generation of faster wireless networks known as 5G. Rival handset makers Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd already make their own modems.

My take: According to The Information, which reported late last year that Apple headhunters were looking for a cellular modem systems architect, it could take Apple three years before its iPhone modems are ready.