Apple Takes a Big Step Toward Making Its Own iPhone Modems

Postado Fevereiro 09, 2019

Apple has moved the modem chip engineering effort into the chip design group, Reuters has heard from two people familiar with the matter.

Modems are an indispensable part of phones and other mobile devices, connecting them to wireless data networks.

However, evidence has been mounting that Apple wants to develop cellular modems for the iPhone itself, starting with a December report in The Information on a modem project within Apple.

The new report by Reuters says that Apple's senior vice president of hardware technologies took over the company's modem design efforts last month. That's the phone's modem, which was previously a Qualcomm-exclusive contract before Apple moved to Intel parts, while simultaneously engaging Qualcomm in a complicated legal battle relating to royalties and patents.

Before this move, Apple's modem work ultimately fell under Dan Riccio, who ran engineering for iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

However, Apple declined to comment on this.

Srouji has been with Apple since 2008, when he joined to head up development of Apple's first in-house processor, the A4, his biography on Apple.com reads.

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 might appear.

"I believe that Apple is expanding their presence in San Diego to primarily bolster their wireless capabilities, especially their efforts to build their own modems".

Linley Gwennap, president of chip industry research firm The Linley Group, said in an interview, 'When you're Apple, everything has to be good.

According to the latest numbers provided by Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon, modem chips cost between $15 Dollars and $20, and they will likely cost the iPhone maker between $3 billion to $4 billion for the 200 million devices it sells annually. There's no room for some substandard component in that phone'.

Rival handset makers Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd already make their own modems.

Now, Apple is likely to drop third-party cellular chips altogether in favor of its own, designed in-house by the same team that develops its impressive A-series chipsets. The modem chips will also help Apple's processor chips, saving battery life and space.