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
20 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
20 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
20 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
20 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
20 months ago
Didn’t we already know they were working on this?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacDevil7334 Avatar
20 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

qualcomm snapdragon x70

Qualcomm Unveils 5G Snapdragon X70 Modem That May Appear in 2023 iPhones

Tuesday March 1, 2022 2:26 am PST by
Qualcomm has unveiled its new 5G Snapdragon X70 modem, which is likely to be the last Qualcomm modem to be used by Apple in its iPhones before it switches to in-house custom-designed chips. Qualcomm says its latest 5G modem for smartphones includes "the world's first 5G AI processor integrated in a 5G Modem-RF System," which is supposed to increase the average download and uplink speeds on...
intel logo

Intel Plans to Make Chips for Qualcomm in the Future

Monday July 26, 2021 3:17 pm PDT by
Intel today announced that it is teaming up with Qualcomm to manufacture some of Qualcomm's future chips. The chips will be manufactured using Intel's 20A process, which is expected to ramp in 2024. There is no word on which chips Intel will make for Qualcomm, but Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips are used in most Android smartphones. Though the 20A design is expected to be available starting in...
tsmc semiconductor chip inspection 678x452

Qualcomm Looking to Combat Apple Silicon With New Generation of PC Chips

Tuesday November 16, 2021 9:02 am PST by
Qualcomm today announced plans for next-generation Arm-based System on Chips (SoC) designed to rival Apple's M-series chips in the PC space (via The Verge). At Qualcomm's 2021 investor day event, chief technology officer Dr. James Thompson announced the plans for the new generation of chips. The chips are "designed to set the performance benchmark for Windows PCs" and are being developed by...
qualcomm iphone xs

FTC Abandons Antitrust Lawsuit Against Qualcomm

Monday March 29, 2021 3:22 pm PDT by
The United States Federal Trade Commission is abandoning its antitrust lawsuit against Qualcomm, reports Bloomberg. The FTC will not seek a Supreme Court review of a 2020 federal appeals court decision that determined that Qualcomm's licensing practices are fair and not anticompetitive. In a statement, FTC chairwoman Rebecca Kelly Slaughter said that the FTC's conclusion that Qualcomm...
m2 feature purple

Evidence of M2 Apple Silicon Chip Spotted Ahead of Apple Event on Tuesday

Sunday March 6, 2022 6:39 am PST by
Evidence that Apple is testing the M2 Apple silicon chip, expected to debut first in a new MacBook Air and refreshed 13-inch MacBook Pro, has been spotted by a developer ahead of Tuesday's "Peek performance" Apple event. As reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in his latest Power On newsletter, a "developer source" has informed him that in recent weeks, Apple has been testing a chip with an...
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...
oppo find x5

Oppo Plans to Challenge Apple Globally, Starting With 'Find X5' Premium Smartphone

Thursday February 24, 2022 4:57 am PST by
After Xiaomi pledged to aggressively challenge Apple earlier this month, Chinese smartphone brand Oppo is also now planning to directly compete with Apple on a global scale with a wave of premium devices, starting with the newly announced Find X5 (via South China Morning Post). Oppo is currently the world's fourth-biggest smartphone vendor, but following its merger with OnePlus, the company...
new m1 chip

Key M1 Mac Engineer Departs Apple for Intel

Thursday January 6, 2022 2:31 pm PST by
Apple's former Director of Mac System Architecture Jeff Wilcox this week announced that he has left Apple to take on a new role at Intel. As noted on LinkedIn (via Tom's Hardware), Wilcox was part of Apple's M1 team and he had a key role in the transition from Intel chips to Apple silicon. Wilcox's profile says that he "led the transition" for all Macs to Apple silicon, and prior to that, he ...

Popular Stories

home app ios 16

Apple Confirms iPad Will No Longer Be Supported as a Home Hub in iOS 16

Wednesday June 22, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
The iPad will no longer be able to be used as a home hub following the launch of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and the HomePod 16 software this fall, Apple confirmed today. As discovered in iOS 16 code by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser, Apple says that the iPad will no longer be supported as a home hub. This information will be displayed in the Home app after updating to iOS 16.A home ...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple CEO Tim Cook Hints at AR/VR Headset: 'Stay Tuned and You'll See What We Have to Offer'

Wednesday June 22, 2022 6:34 pm PDT by
CEO Tim Cook this week did an interview with China Daily, where he once again commented on on the future of augmented reality and hinted at Apple's work on an AR/VR headset. Render via designer Ian Zelbo Cook said that Apple is excited about the opportunities available with augmented reality, which is not too far off from prior comments that he's made, but he went on to say that people should ...
customize wallpaper setting ios 16

iOS 16 Beta 2 Tidbits: New Wallpaper Colors, Backup Over LTE, SMS Filtering and More

Wednesday June 22, 2022 2:16 pm PDT by
Apple today seeded the second betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to developers for testing purposes, and the new betas introduce new features and refine some of the changes that Apple made with the first iOS 16 release. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Lock Screen Photo Wallpaper Customization When customizing a photo on the Lock Screen, there are two new DuoTone and...
Shazam Music Recognition Control Center

iPhone's Built-In Music Recognition Feature Syncs With Shazam App on iOS 16

Tuesday June 21, 2022 7:37 am PDT by
Since the release of iOS 14.2 in 2020, the iPhone has included a built-in Music Recognition feature in Control Center powered by Shazam. And with iOS 16, and also the iOS 15.6 beta, the feature has received a small but useful upgrade. As noted by Twitter user @someone_andrew, songs identified with Music Recognition in Control Center finally sync with the Shazam app. It also remains...
2022 back to school apple

Apple Launches 2022 Back to School Offer: Up to $150 Gift Card With Mac or iPad

Friday June 24, 2022 5:08 am PDT by
Apple today launched its annual "Back to School" promotion for college/university students in the United States and Canada. This year's promotion offers a free Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad, rather than free AirPods like last year. Apple is also offering students 20% off AppleCare+ plans during the promotion. Apple is offering a $150 gift card with the purchase ...
ios 16 lock screen feature2

Apple Seeds Second Betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to Developers

Wednesday June 22, 2022 10:07 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the second betas of upcoming iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the updates coming two weeks after Apple unveiled the new software at WWDC and released the initial betas. Registered developers can download the iOS and iPadOS 16 profiles from the Apple Developer Center, and once installed, the betas will be available over the air. Given...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple Rumored to Announce 'Game-Changer' AR/VR Headset in January 2023

Friday June 24, 2022 2:52 am PDT by
Apple is "likely" to announce its long-rumored mixed-reality headset as soon as January 2023, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reiterated. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo In a detailed post on Medium, Kuo explained that Apple's headset will be a "game-changer" for the augmented-reality and virtual-reality market. Describing some of the headset's...