Apple dropped the bombshell that it was picking up part of Intel’s cellular modem business for a cool $1 billion yesterday. The move will not only see Apple pick up a number of important patents, but it will also take on 2,200 new employees. All of that means results are expected.
Those results may come as soon as 2021, according to a new report, with Apple wanting to get some of its own 5G modems into devices as soon as two years from now.
The report comes courtesy of Reuters, which cites an unnamed source.
A person familiar with the matter said Apple plans to use Qualcomm’s modem technology for a 5G iPhone in 2020 but wants to have an internally developed 5G modem technology ready for use in some of its products by 2021. Intel previously disclosed plans to have a 5G modem ready by 2020, so tapping the Intel assets could help Apple hit its target.
It’s unlikely that Apple will have modems for all of its cellular products ready by 2021 with three iPhones, the Apple Watch, and a number of iPads all needing chips. Instead, it’s more likely that some lower-end and lower-demand products will use them instead, at least initially.
Apple has long been on a crusade to remove as many third-parties from the design and production of its devices as possible. It already designs its own CPUs for everything bar its Macs, and designing its own cellular modems is just the next step in that crusade.
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