Qualcomm’s IP and Intel’s talent might have given Apple ample legroom to lay preliminaries for what may end up being another vital strategic transition for Cupertino.
Not that it is a significant revelation or anything, but it seems like Apple has finally embarked the development of its cellular modem, a move that would allow Cupertino to transition away from using Qualcomm technology eventually.
Where It All Started?
The official announcement was made by Johny Srouji (Apple hardware senior vice president), in the course of a town hall meeting with Apple employees.Srouji united with Apple in 2008 and has since been dominating the company’s chip design endeavours. Srouji is the face beyond Apple’s A-series processors that brawn the iPad as well as iPhone, as well as the chip inside its candidly wireless AirPods, smart speaker HomePod, and Apple Watch.
Apple now also manufactures its custom silicon chip for Mac. Srouji is said to have been insinuating Apple’s modem chip designing strike since January 2019, with Cupertino recruiting modem engineers in Qualcomm’s backyard, San Diego.
Apple acquired most of Intel’s smartphone modem business for $1 billion in July last year after having just settled a long-running controversy with Qualcomm in April. The “shocking” settlement comprised a payment from Apple to Qualcomm and “a six-year license agreement, constructive as of April 2019, together with a two-year alternative to extend, and a multiyear chipset supply agreement.
” Qualcomm’s IP and Intel’s talent gave Apple ample legroom to lay preliminaries for what may end up being, “another pivotal strategic transition,” and a critical one at that.
Apple VS Qualcomm
Before the agreement, Apple had been grappling Qualcomm for years, asserting that the chipmaker was (mis)using its leading market position to charge a sky-high fee for its technology, including the modem. At the same time, modems are crucial to a smartphone. Without them, a 5G-ready iPhone 12 would have been impossible.
Apple already makes its own SoC, and it was only about time it made its modem. If Apple’s custom ARM silicon for Mac that made debut with the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini recently-not to mention, its years of experience building the iPhone chip-is anything to go by, its in-house modem could well be a severe threat to Qualcomm.
An exact timeline for when Apple would be ready with its modem is unknown for now.