KEY POINTS

  • Apple is working on a new cellular modem
  • This was revealed by Apple hardware SVP Johny Srouji, according to Bloomberg
  • The new component means Apple will not depend on Qualcomm for modems in the future

Apple announced earlier this year its plans to move away from Intel’s chips and use in-house silicon for its Mac devices. The company followed through months later with the release of the first MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini powered by the new M1 chip.

Now, a report from Bloomberg indicates that Apple isn’t content to just ditch Intel – it is also looking to reduce its reliance on mobile chipmaker Qualcomm, particularly regarding the modems used for mobile devices. Apple hardware SVP Johny Srouji reportedly said of the matter, as per Bloomberg,

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

This new “internal cellular modem” might replace the third-party components Apple uses for its new iPhones, particularly the ones giving the iPhone 12 series of handsets the ability to use 5G networks. By building its own modems, as Srouji said, the company will be able to make “another key strategic transition.”

This news should not come as a surprise to those who are following reports or updates about Apple.

The Cupertino-based tech giant bought Intel’s 5G smartphone modem business last year. The acquisition cost about $1 billion, but it gave Apple access to Intel’s IP regarding 5G model, as well as equipment and leases.

It also meant absorbing more than 2,000 Intel employees – all of whom have knowledge and experience working on the things that the company is known for.

This acquisition was hoped to result in the addition of 5G connectivity to the iPhone 11 series of handsets, but that didn’t happen. Apple still had to get some help from Qualcomm in order to do that – to the tune of a $4.5 billion settlement over patent infringement issues, The Verge reported.

Now, it appears that Apple also wants to be totally independent of both Intel and Qualcomm, at least for the things it can actually do.

The company’s first proprietary Mac processor, the M1, stunned the world when it outperformed Intel and AMD chips. Will the first Apple cellular modem boast better performance than Qualcomm’s as well?

Macbook Pro The M1 Mac has a few surprises in terms of performance Photo: Pexels