Apple Inc has moved its own modem chip engineering campaign to its in-house hardware technology team from its distribution chain unit, two individuals knowledgeable about the movement told Reuters, a sign the tech business is seeking to develop a key part of its own iPhones following years of purchasing it from external suppliers.
Modems are an integral part of phones and other mobile devices, connecting them to wireless information networks. Apple formerly used Qualcomm chips exclusively but started phasing in Intel processors in 2016 and fell Qualcomm from iPhones released last year.
The organisational move hasn’t been previously reported.
Srouji joined Apple in 2008 to direct chip design, for example, habit A-series processors that electricity iPhones and iPads plus a special Bluetooth chip that helps those apparatus set with its AirPods wireless headphones as well as other Apple accessories.
The modem efforts had previously been directed by Rubén Caballero, who reports to Dan Riccio, the executive responsible for iPad, iPhone and Mac technology, a lot of that involves integrating parts from the organization’s vast electronics supply chain.
Technology publication The Information previously reported that Apple had been working to develop its own modem processor.
The Cupertino, California-based firm has posted job listings for modem engineers at San Diego, a hub for wireless layout talent due to Qualcomm’s longtime presence there and a place where Apple has stated it intends to build up its workforce.
Apple’s effort to make its own modem chips could take years, and it is impossible to know when, or in what devices, such chips may seem.
“When you’re Apple, everything has to be useful,” said Linley Gwennap, president of processor industry research firm The Linley Group. “There is no room to get a few substandard component in that phone.”
5G on Horizon
Apple’s investment in modem chips comes as carriers and other mobile manufacturers are rolling out devices for the next generation of wireless networks known as 5G.
Rival handset makers Samsung Electronics and Huawei Technologies make their own modems.
Making its own modem processors would likely cost Apple hundreds of millions of dollars or more per year in development costs, analysts said, but could save money .
Modem chips are a important part of the price of Apple devices, worth $15 to $20 (roughly Rs. 1,100 to Rs. 1,400) each and probably costing Apple $3 billion to $4 billion dollars to the 200 million approximately iPhones it makes a calendar year, said Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon.
Apple may also gain by combining its modem chips with its processor chips, as Samsung, Huawei and most other phone makers do. That conserves space and battery life, two important considerations if Apple presents augmented reality features into future products.