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.

Popular Stories

new best buy blue

Best Buy's Memorial Day Sale Has Record Low Prices on iPads, MacBooks, and Much More

Friday May 24, 2024 7:12 am PDT by
Best Buy today kicked off its Memorial Day weekend sale, and it has some of the best prices we've tracked in weeks on iPads and MacBooks. Specifically, you'll find record low prices on the 5th generation iPad Air, iPad mini 6, M2 MacBook Air, and M3 MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment,...
macOS 15 Feature

macOS 15 System Settings to Get Design Overhaul

Thursday May 23, 2024 12:51 pm PDT by
With the macOS 15 update that is set to debut at WWDC in June, Apple plans to rearrange "menus and app UIs," according to a report from AppleInsider. The System Settings app, which was last updated with macOS Ventura, will get one of the biggest updates. With macOS Ventura, Apple renamed the System Preferences app to System Settings, introducing a design similar to the Settings app on the...
6chatgpt mac app

5 Reasons to Use OpenAI's ChatGPT App for Mac

Thursday May 23, 2024 6:07 am PDT by
On May 13, OpenAI during its Spring Update announced that it would be releasing a desktop ChatGPT app for the Mac in the "coming weeks," and said that ahead of a wider launch it had started rolling out the app to some ChatGPT Plus subscribers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. After testing the app for a few days, we thought it was worth sharing some reasons why...
iOS 17

Apple Sheds More Light on iOS 17.5 Bug That Resurfaced Deleted Photos

Friday May 24, 2024 2:36 am PDT by
Last week, some iPhone users reported that Apple's iOS 17.5 update had introduced a bug that caused old photos that were deleted to reappear in the Photos app. Apple quickly released an iOS 17.5.1 update to fix the issue, but for many users, its explanation of "database corruption" in the release notes was all too brief, and did little to allay concerns about the privacy of their data. Apple ...

Top Rated Comments

SDJim Avatar
45 months 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
45 months 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
45 months 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
45 months 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
45 months ago
Didn’t we already know they were working on this?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacDevil7334 Avatar
45 months 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)