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Apple May Be Working on Its Own Cellular Modem To End Reliance on Qualcomm

Apple. (Image Credit: Reuters)

Apple. (Image Credit: Reuters)

After Apple ditched Intel processors in favour of its M1 Silicon chip, it may be doing the same for its internal modems, ending dependence on Qualcomm for its radio chips. Apple had last year bought Intel's smartphone modem business.

Cupertino-based giant Apple recently launched its first-ever in-house silicon chips for Mac computers starting with the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the Mac Mini. The Apple M1 chip on the new Mac computers replaced the Intel processors on the three respective Mac computers. Now, a report quotes Apple’s chip chief as internally revealing that a second chip transition is already in the early stages. According to a Bloomberg report, Apple may be working on a cellular modem that could mean less reliance for Qualcomm chips in Apple’s products.

“This year, we kicked off the development of our first internal cellular modem which will enable another key strategic transition," Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president for hardware was quoted by Bloomberg as reportedly saying. This development comes as one of the most significant update after Apple bought Intel’s smartphone modem business in July last year, which suggested that it was only a matter of time before the company started developing its own radio chips. Ahead of last year’s deal with Intel, Apple reached a settlement with Qualcomm over patent infringement and struck a multi-year deal around the two companies’ wireless IP, where it paid Qualcomm $4.5 billion (roughly Rs 33,000 crores) and Qualcomm supplied Apple the chips it needed to build this year’s 5G iPhones.

However, with its own cellular radio chips, Apple could end up being less reliant on Qualcomm. As some Apple fans would say, it could end up making a better performing radio chip and offer better battery life, something similar to what it did with its new ARM chips.

In another development, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Apple employees may continue working from home till June 2021.

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