Apple Is Already Working On Its Own 5G Modems So It Can Phase Qualcomm Out

Apple is already working on its own 5G modem so that it can ditch its current partner Qualcomm, according to a new Bloomberg report.

While this isn’t necessarily a new development based on rumors we’ve been hearing and Apple’s buyout of Intel’s modem business, the new Bloomberg report is still notable.

According to that, Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technologies, confirmed in a recent town hall meeting that the company is working on the model as it works towards another transition.

“This year, we kicked off the development of our first internal cellular modem which will enable another key strategic transition,” he said. “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.”

Srouji even went on to call out the $1 billion buyout of Intel’s business as part of the plan to move away from Qualcomm. That’s something that has never specifically been said but has been patently obvious to all observers.

Srouji did not say when the cellular modem would be ready to ship in products, but a 2019 patent agreement between Apple and Qualcomm includes a six-year licensing pact. Qualcomm charges license fees to phone makers based on wireless patents it owns, regardless of whether they use its chips or not.

Apple is already in the middle of a move away from Intel processors and towards its own silicon. That move has proven fruitful already, with new machines powered by the M1 chip outpacing Intel and AMD by some margin. We can only imagine what an Apple-designed 5G model is capable of.

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