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
15 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
15 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
15 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
15 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
15 months ago
Didn’t we already know they were working on this?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacDevil7334 Avatar
15 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)

Related Stories

Screen Shot 4

Bloomberg: Apple Hiring Engineers to Work on 6G Wireless Connectivity

Thursday February 18, 2021 4:21 am PST by
Apple is hiring engineers to work on next-generation 6G wireless technology, based on job listings spotted by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The listings are for positions at Apple's offices in Silicon Valley and San Diego, where the company works on wireless technology development and chip design, according to Gurman's report. "You will have the unique and rewarding opportunity to craft next...
Apple 5G Modem Feature

Apple-Designed 5G Modem Said to Debut in All 2023 iPhone Models

Thursday March 11, 2021 7:35 am PST by
Apple's custom-designed 5G cellular modem will likely debut in all 2023 iPhone models, according to Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Thomas O'Malley. In a supplier-focused research note shared with MacRumors, the analysts said chipmakers Qorvo and Broadcom should be among the companies that benefit from the shift to Apple's in-house solution. Fast Company's Mark Sullivan and Bloomberg's...
m2 feature

Apple Silicon M2 Chip Coming to Wave of New Macs

Monday May 24, 2021 2:27 am PDT by
Apple's more powerful "M2" chip is set to come to a wave of new Macs, bringing significant performance and efficiency improvements to a range of new models, according to recent reports. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman previously said that Apple is working on higher-end Apple silicon chips that are expected to "significantly outpace" the performance of the latest Macs that still contain Intel chips,...
tsmc semiconductor chip inspection 678x452

Construction of Apple Supplier Plant in Arizona 'Well Under Way,' Will Manufacture Chips by 2024

Wednesday June 2, 2021 4:15 am PDT by
Apple chip supplier TSMC is moving ahead with plans for a manufacturing plant in Phoenix, Arizona, according to Bloomberg. In November of 2020, Phoenix city officials approved financial incentives and government support for the new plant. The city agreed to provide $200 million in support to build infrastructure including roads and sewers, according to a notice from the city's council....
Apple 5G Modem Feature

Kuo: Apple-Designed 5G Modem May Debut in iPhones as Early as 2023

Sunday May 9, 2021 10:02 pm PDT by
Apple plans to adopt its own custom-designed 5G baseband chip starting with the 2023 iPhones, meaning it'll no longer need to rely on Qualcomm to supply the 5G cellular modem for the iPhone, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in an investors note obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple plans to include its own custom-designed 5G baseband chip starting with the launch of the 2023...
qualcomm iphone 7

UK Consumer Watchdog Sues Qualcomm for Allegedly Breaching Competition Law

Thursday February 25, 2021 2:51 am PST by
Around 29 million Britons who own an Apple or Samsung phone could be entitled to a collective £480m payout if a landmark legal claim against U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm is successful. Consumer watchdog Which? is suing the chipmaker for allegedly breaching U.K. competition law by taking advantage of its dominance in the patent licensing and chip markets. As reported by the BBC, Which? alleges ...
qualcommx55

iPhone 12 Models Use Qualcomm's X55 Modem

Wednesday October 21, 2020 12:24 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 lineup appears to be equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X55 modem, which is in line with rumors that we heard about the new devices prior to their launch. An iPhone 12 teardown video on Chinese social networking site Weibo gives a close look at the L-shaped logic board and the modem chip. The X55 offers support for both 5G mmWave networks and 5G Sub-6GHz networks, along ...
nuvia logo

Qualcomm to Acquire Chip Startup Nuvia, Founded by Ex-Apple Chip Designers, for $1.4 Billion

Wednesday January 13, 2021 8:19 am PST by
Qualcomm has reached an agreement to acquire Nuvia, a chip startup company founded by former Apple chip designers, for $1.4 billion, in an effort to compete with Apple and Intel (via Reuters). Nuvia was founded by three former Apple chip designers that worked on the A-series chips for the iPhone. Among Nuvia's key projects is a custom CPU core design set to be used in servers, but Qualcomm ...

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Review: M1 Max MacBook Pro After Three Months

Wednesday January 19, 2022 11:30 am PST by
It's now been a few months since the M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro models launched in October, and MacRumors video editor Dan Barbera has been using one of the new machines since they debuted. Over on the MacRumors YouTube channel, Dan has shared a three month review of his MacBook Pro to see how it has held up over time and how it's changed his workflow. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube ...
airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
iphone se 2020 top

New iPhone SE Likely to Launch in April Based on Production Timeframe

Wednesday January 19, 2022 6:44 am PST by
Apple suppliers will begin producing display panels for the third-generation iPhone SE this month, with final assembly of the device likely to start in March, according to information shared by display industry consultant Ross Young. Based on this production timeframe, Young believes the third-generation iPhone SE is likely to launch in the second half of April, or perhaps in early May at...
iphone 13 earpods

Apple to Stop Including EarPods With Every iPhone Sold in France From Next Week

Friday January 21, 2022 3:21 am PST by
Apple will no longer include EarPods with every iPhone sold in France, starting on January 24, according to a notice posted by a French carrier (via iGeneration). Apple was previously required to include EarPods in the box with the iPhone due to a French law that required every smartphone sold in the country to come with a "handsfree kit," but the law has now been changed in favor of reducing the ...
Spring 2022 Apple Products Feature

New iPad Air, Macs, and iPhone SE With 5G Likely to Be Announced at Apple Event This Spring

Thursday January 20, 2022 8:32 am PST by
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April. Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are...
appleeducation

Apple's US Education Store Now Requires Institution Verification to Buy Discounted Products

Wednesday January 19, 2022 2:22 am PST by
Apple is now requiring that customers in the United States verify that they're active students, teachers, or staff members at an educational institution in order to access education discounts on products. Previously, little verification was needed for customers to purchase products through Apple's education store in the United States. Apple's education stores offer models of the iPad and Mac ...
AirPods 3 New Firmware Feature

Apple Updates AirPods 3 Firmware to Version 4C170

Tuesday January 18, 2022 11:46 am PST by
Apple today released a new 4C170 firmware update for the AirPods 3, an update from the prior 4C165 that was made available in December. Apple does not offer details on what's included in new firmware updates for the AirPods‌, so we don't know what improvements or bug fixes the new firmware brings. There is no standard way to upgrade the ‌AirPods‌‌ software, but firmware is...
appleprivacyad cleaned

iOS 15 Patched Security Hole That Potentially Exposed Users' Private Apple ID Information to Third-Party Apps

Thursday January 20, 2022 3:32 am PST by
Apple patched two significant security vulnerabilities when it released iOS 15 that could have potentially exposed users' private Apple ID information and in-app search history to malicious third-party apps and allowed apps to override user Privacy preferences, Apple has revealed in a recent support document update. With most iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS updates, Apple provides a list of...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg

Apple Watch Charging Bug Fixed in watchOS 8.4 Release Candidate

Thursday January 20, 2022 4:01 pm PST by
The watchOS 8.4 release candidate that was seeded to developers and beta testers this morning addresses an ongoing bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work properly with the Apple Watch. Back in December, we reported on a growing number of charging issues that Apple Watch Series 7 owners were facing. Since watchOS 8.3, there have been a number of complaints about...