Apple begins building its own cellular modem to break up with Qualcomm
What you need to know
- Apple has started work on its own cellular modem.
- It is unclear when the first Apple-designed modem will be featured in the iPhone.
Reported by Bloomberg, Apple has begun the work to design and build its own cellular modem, a move that would eventually cut off the need for the company to rely on Qualcomm to supply the modems in its lineup of iPhones and iPads.
According to the report, Johny Srouji, Apple's senior vice president of hardware technologies, made the announcement during a town hall meeting with Apple employees.
Srouji reaffirmed that the company's acquisition of Intel's modem business back in 2019 was a major strategic move to enable the company in having complete control of yet another part of its devices.
Qualcomm is still only a year into a six-year licensing pact with Apple, so it is unclear when the first Apple-designed modem will make its way into the iPhone.
As previously reported and announced by Apple, Srouji mentioned in the town hall that Apple was also designing a family of Apple Silicon chips that will roll out in future Macs. The first, the M1, was released in the new MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini in November.
Apple has been laying the groundwork to design its own modem for years now. While it will certainly make its way into the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, it is also possible that it could enable the first MacBook with cellular built-in.
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Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.