Apple Developing In-House Modem That Will Eventually Replace Qualcomm Chips

Apple is now developing its own cellular modem that will be used in future devices and that will eventually replace modem components sourced from Qualcomm, reports Bloomberg.

qualcommx55
The information was shared by Apple's senior vice president of hardware technologies Johny Srouji at a town hall meeting with Apple employees.

"This year, we kicked off the development of our first internal cellular modem which will enable another key strategic transition," he said. "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."

Rumors in early 2019 suggested that Apple was planning to design a modem in-house, and mid-2019, Apple purchased the majority of Intel's smartphone modem business to accelerate its own development efforts. Apple took over Intel's modem-related intellectual property and hired 2,200 Intel employees.

At the time, Srouji said that the Intel team would join Apple's cellular technologies group, and that the acquisition would "expedite development on future products." Apple is ultimately aiming to reduce its reliance on Qualcomm, the company that currently supplies its modem chips.

Apple for several years was embroiled in a major patent dispute with Qualcomm, but when it became clear Apple would need Qualcomm's chip technology for the 5G iPhone 12 models released in 2020, Apple reached a settlement with Qualcomm and signed a multi-year licensing deal.

Apple has now built a team of hardware and software engineers that will develop the cellular modem, and it will join other wireless chips designed by Apple that include the W-series chips in the Apple Watch and the U1 ultrawide band chip in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models. Apple also makes its own A-series chips for iPhones and as of this year, has released Macs with Apple-designed processors.

There is no word on when Apple's modem chips will be ready, but the 2019 settlement between Apple and Qualcomm included a six-year licensing agreement.

Top Rated Comments

SDJim Avatar
5 weeks ago
Oh good, I was completely under the assumption they spent $1B to purchase Intel's modem business as a joke... :rolleyes:
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rochy Bay Avatar
5 weeks ago
They are not just after the app services competitors, or Intel. They are after everyone LOL.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Taz Mangus Avatar
5 weeks ago


It wouldn't surprise me if Apple is selling other companies their chips within 5 years.

Apple has zero incentive to do that. Not going to happen.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wesley96 Avatar
5 weeks ago
Apple is stepping up its vertical integration level every chance it can get. It got burned by 3rd parties way too many times in its history.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ghostface147 Avatar
5 weeks ago
Didn’t we already know they were working on this?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacDevil7334 Avatar
5 weeks ago
No surprise. Apple getting back with Qualcomm was clearly a marriage of convenience (probably the only way to get decent 5G radios for the iPhone). Clearly Apple wants to ditch them as soon as possible with all the bad blood of the last few years.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...
cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds Second Betas of iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 10:03 am PST by
Apple today seeded the second betas of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a month after Apple released the first betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...
caldigit thunderbolt 4 dock featured

CalDigit Introduces USB-C Dock With 10 Ports and Up to 94W Charging for Macs [Updated]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 9:16 am PST by
CalDigit today unveiled a new Thunderbolt 4 dock with a wide selection of connectivity options, including three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an SD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The dock also has a Thunderbolt 4 port that allows it to be connected to a Mac with a single cable, with up to 94W of pass-through charging for the latest MacBook...