Apple has been reported to be building its own cellular modem, indicating a shift away from Qualcomm reliance.
The news comes from Bloomberg, who wrote that Apple senior vice president of Hardware Technologies Johny Srouji informed employees of the matter during a town hall meeting. Srouji was quoted as saying, “This year, we kicked off the development of our first internal cellular modem which will enable another key strategic transition. 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.”
According to Srouji, the development was made possible due to Apple acquiring Intel’s smartphone modem business for US$1 billion in 2019. Although there’s no public statement on Apple’s cellular modem-making endeavours yet, the purchase of Intel’s modem business and Apple’s plan to transition from Intel to make its own processors mean that the move isn’t entirely surprising.
Aside from the the modem development reveal, Bloomberg also reported that the town hall saw Apple CEO Tim Cook saying that it “seems likely” that most of the company’s teams won’t return to offices before June 2021.