Following the release of its M1 processor for the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini, reports have now emerged indicating that Apple wants to replace Qualcomm as the iPhone’s key modem provider.
Johny Srouji, the company’s senior vice president of hardware technologies, told Apple employees about the companies plans to start creating its own mobile modems during a recent town hall meeting, according to Bloomberg.
“This year, we kicked off the development of our first internal cellular modem, which will enable another key strategic transition,” said Srouji, according to Bloomberg.
“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.”
Last July, Apple acquired Intel’s smartphone modem business for $1 billion, so it’s likely at least some of the technology from that acquisition will be used in the tech giant’s own mobile modems. While Apple’s 2019 iPhones featured Intel modems, the tech giant’s 2020 iPhone line includes chips from Qualcomm.
Prior to this acquisition, Apple and Qualcomm settled a patent dispute related to the iPhone’s modem where Apple accused the chip maker of adopting an abusive licensing model.
Earlier this week, reports emerged that Apple is reportedly working on creating more powerful M1 processors for the iMac, MacBook Pro and Mac Pro.
It’s unclear when Apple plans to shift over to its own modems, but given how long hardware development typically takes, it could take several years.