Apple started modem development earlier this year

Posted on Friday, Dec 11 2020 @ 11:12 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
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There's no doubt that Apple's way of doing business has resulted in major success for the company. The company's walled garden draws criticism of course but it has resulted in a stock market valuation of over $2 trillion and many billions of profit. This enables Apple to keep marching on with tighter and tighter integration of hardware and software, and pulling as much in-house as possible to achieve this.

The latest example of this is the modem business. At the moment, Apple buys smartphone modems from Qualcomm. There are only a couple of other firms that make these devices, the only other two major parties being Samsung and Huawei. Apple paid $1 billion for Intel's smartphone modem business last year and Bloomberg reports development of Apple's own cellular modem started this year. The announcement was made by Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technologies, in 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.”

Srouji said the $1 billion acquisition of Intel Corp.’s modem business in 2019 helped Apple build a team of hardware and software engineers to develop its own cellular modem. He said the modem is one of a few wireless chips the company designs, including the W-series in the Apple Watch and the U1 ultrawide-band chip in the iPhone for precise location information.
It's unknown when the Apple-made modem chips will be ready. The firm has a deal with Qualcomm until the end of 2024 so that seems to be the ultimate deadline.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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