Gadgets for humans

Apple reportedly plans to build its own modems for iPhones

Dialling it in!

After using Qualcomm and Intel modems in iPhones for years, Apple might be finally looking to build its own modems. According to a report by The Information, Apple is actively looking to build modems targeted toward iPhones.

The rumor is spurred on by Apple‘s recent job openings for two Cellular Modem Systems Architects in San Diego and Cupertino. Additionally, the company has posted multiple modem hardware- and firmware-related jobs in the past couple of months for its Berlin, San Diego, and Beijing locations.

Apple‘s relationship with Qualcomm has hit a sour patch in recent years with a string of lawsuits. Because of that, Apple opted to use Intel modems in all three of its iPhones released in 2018. Additionally, Apple is reportedly exploring the possibility of launching a 5G-enabled iPhone in 2020. However, a report in July suggested that Intel modems are considerably slower than Qualcomm modems.

Let’s not forget that Apple has a great track record for developing chips. It has developed A-series processors used in iPhones from 2007. It’s A12 processors – used in the current generation of iPhones – believed to be among the top performers in the industry today. The company is also said to be working on its own ARM-based SoCs for use in Macs in 2020.

The Information notes that Apple is still in the early stages of developing this chip, so don’t expect to see this modem in an iPhone anytime soon.

It makes sense for the Cupertino company to free itself from its reliance on chip suppliers. It’ll be interesting to see what becomes of Intel and Qualcomm’s businesses when Apple finally builds and uses its own modems in its iPhones.

Published December 13, 2018 — 07:05 UTC