Apple Starts Developing In-House Modems for Future iPhones, iPads

Apple's own 5G cellular modem in the works

Apple wants to bring all of the chip production in-house to rid itself of the reliance on third-party manufacturers. It will enable the company to further optimize the devices. The company recently unveiled its ARM-based Apple M1 chip for Macs and you might have seen how its blows the Intel MacBooks out of the water. Now, as per a Bloomberg report, Apple has started building its in-house cellular modem to replace Qualcomm’s components.

According to internal sources, Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior VP for hardware, recently informed employees that the company is readying itself for a second transition. “This year, we kicked off the development of our first internal cellular modem which will enable another key strategic transition,” said Srouji at the meeting. This gives credibility to the rumors of Apple developing its own cellular modem.

The Cupertino giant is finally ready to put into play its $1 billion acquisition of Intel’s modem business. If you are not aware, Apple bought Intel’s smartphone modem unit, including around 2,200 employees, intellectual property, equipment, and leases, back in July 2019. We do not have any information on the modem’s performance. But, if the M1 chip is anything to go by, we can expect better cell reception and battery life.

When will Apple’s modem launch?

There is currently no concrete information for when we can expect to see Apple’s in-house modems in products. A recent report suggested that the 2021 iPad Pro will be the first to arrive with the company’s modem. Apple will not use Qualcomm modems and instead rely on its Antenna-in-Package (AiP) to add 5G mmWave support to the iPad Pro. Next year’s iPhone lineup will most likely use the in-house modem as well.

As per the report, Srouji further added: “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.”

This is just speculation at the moment. We suggest you take this information with a grain of salt and wait for an official confirmation in 2021.

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