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Apple is developing its own modem to replace Qualcomm’s

By Prakhar Khanna December 11, 2020, 12:24 am
Apple modem

At its WWDC20 conference, Apple announced its move to shift from Intel chips to its own processors for the Mac lineup. Now, it seems like the company isn’t only looking to replace Intel but Qualcomm chips as well. For the unaware, the latest iPhone 12 lineup uses Qualcomm’s X55 modem, but it could change in the future. A new report claims that Apple is developing an in-house modem.

The latest development comes from Bloomberg that cites Apple’s Senior Vice President of hardware technologies Johny Srouji’s town hall meeting with Apple employees. It says that Apple is working on its own cellular modem to use on its future devices that will eventually replace modem components sourced from Qualcomm.

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“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.”

Johny Srouji, Senior Vice President of hardware technologies, Apple

Apple developing its in-house modem has been in the rumor mill for a while. The company also purchased a majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business to accelerate the project’s development. However, Apple had to go for Qualcomm likely to bring 5G to the new iPhone 12 lineup. Hence, it reached a settlement with Qualcomm and signed a multi-year licensing deal despite a major patent dispute with the silicon giant.

The agreement is still valid for the next five years, with an option to extend it for two more years, but Apple seems to limit its reliance on Qualcomm by developing its own modem now. The Cupertino company has now built a team of hardware and software engineers that will develop the cellular modem.

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