(Pocket-lint) – Although the current iPhone 12 series use cellular modems from Qualcomm, it’s an open secret that Apple is developing its own.
After all, Apple’s strategy is clear for all to see – it likes to develop things in house when it comes to chipsets and, of course, we’re just seeing that in action with the Mac’s transition to Apple Silicon.
The work has apparently now been confirmed in an Apple town hall meeting with employees by Johny Srouji, Apple’s head of hardware technologies.
Intel bought Intel’s modem division and know-how last year, the endgame in a protracted series of events that had seen Apple buy 4G modems from Intel as a result of falling out with Qualcomm. After multiple legal battles, the war between Apple and Qualcomm was quelled when it became obvious Intel was incapable of developing an efficient 5G modem, something Qualcomm is arguably the world leader in. But it was pretty clear at the time that the move to Qualcomm for iPhone 12 onwards would be a short one.
Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 888 chipsets feature the company’s X60 modem fully integrated onto the silicon and this is also what Apple will want to do, so the modem is integrated directly onto the A-Series SoC. Of course, we’re on A14 at the moment and this won’t happen for at least a couple of years so we’re probably looking at A16 or A17 in 2022 or 2023 for a launch.
According to Bloomberg, Srouji said the following: “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.”
Writing by Dan Grabham.