Apple plans to make its own modems to take on Qualcomm

Apple developing modems

eports of Apple planning to develop it’s own modem aren’t exactly new. In the past, we heard reports of Apple trying to poach Qualcomm employees in its home town San Diego. And now, a new report suggests that the company is pursuing its plan more aggressively than previously anticipated.

According to a report by The Information, the Cupertino, California based tech giant is actively looking to work on developing a homegrown cellular modem and hiring engineers who would help the company achieve its goal. The job listings explicitly aims to hire a cellular modem systems architect in San Diego. “In this role, you will be a key member of the wireless architecture team working on modem systems architecture aspects for the L1/physical layer,” the job listing states.

The report has been confirmed by a person who has been briefed about the company’s plans. The company is working to build its own cellular modem chip that would connect iPhones to the cellular networks and that the modem could take as long as three years to develop, the person briefed about the company’s internal plans told the publication.

Notably, the new report seems to be taking forward a previous report by Bloomberg, which said that the company was planning to recruit people for various chip designing roles including engineers who would work on developing the company’s AI processing chips and wireless chips. The report also said that the company was planning to hire engineers who could work on more specific technologies such as Bluetooth and LTE.

Interestingly, the news of Apple trying to tie all is lose ends comes amid its ongoing patent war with Qualcomm, which lead to some of the company’s top iPhone models including– iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, Phone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus-being banned in China temporarily.

Traditionally, Apple has used a mix of Intel and Qualcomm chips in its devices. But its escalated patent war has forced it to side with Intel. The company now is reportedly working with Intel to launch its 5G-enabled phones in 2020. But now, a recent report has suggested that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 dramatically outperform Intel’s XMM 7480 modem.

Apple’s has long been developing its A-series mobile processors for iPhones and iPad. Amid the present circumstances, branching out into developing its own modems doesn’t seem too far-fetched. Consequently, it would also give the company greater control over its hardware.


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