Apple started working on its custom modems after the Cupertino-based company acquired the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business in 2019. However, Apple’s attempt to produce in-house 5G modem chips has been reportedly hampered by major problems related to unrealistic goals, an inadequate understanding of the challenges involved, and unusable prototypes.
According to Gurman, Apple is racing to get its modem finished so it doesn’t need to re-up a contract to buy the component from Qualcomm. “The two companies have feuded over the years, and Apple really doesn’t want to rely on Qualcomm for this vital iPhone part,” he added.
Producing in-house modems would give Apple more control over the technology and potentially offer financial benefits. However, Modems are extremely difficult to develop and require testing globally. Gurman said if Apple’s modem comes to market and doesn’t work well, it will be the biggest black eye of Tim Cook’s tenure as chief executive officer.
The 6G standard isn’t expected until 2030 at the earliest. This gives Apple enough time to work and test its custom 6G cellular modems.
Earlier, a report by MacRumors stated that Apple is discontinuing the in-house 5G modem development project after several unsuccessful attempts. Gurman, in his newsletter, has rejected these reports and said that the company is turning more of its attention to 6G, even as it works on 5G cellular modem.
First Published: Dec 04 2023 | 11:25 AM IST