Apple’s in-House Modems Could Take Until 2025 to Be Completed; Much Later Than Earlier Predictions of a 2021 Completion

May 15, 2019
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ong before Apple inked a 6-year license deal with Qualcomm, reports had been flying around about a possible fall out with Intel. A newly published report has shed more light on the saga, detailing how Intel’s inability to satisfy Apple’s requirements led the latter to bury the hatchet with Qualcomm concerning its long-term legal battle. This also means Apple will continue to develop its in-house modem, but the expected appearance of the first silicon in mobile devices might not be before 2025.

Apple’s Rocky Relationship With Intel Could Also Mean That Macs of the Future Will Only Run ARM-Based Processors

The report says that cracks in the relationship between Apple and Intel started appearing in early 2017 when the Cupertino-based giant was gearing up to develop a new generation of iPhones. Despite Intel’s repeated attempts to get it right, the XMM 7560 modem failed to live up to expectations and this made the team at Apple exceedingly anxious. According to Intel employees and industry insiders in the report from The Information, Intel’s modem unit was just not big enough to efficiently develop modems and the way it was structured didn’t help matters either, making it difficult for teams to work together.

Related Apple Reportedly Wants Its in-House 5G Modems Running in iPhones, iPads by 2022, Despite Numerous Hurdles

Fast forward to now, Intel has officially exited the smartphone modem business and as reported before, the company is exploring strategic alternatives for it and would most likely end up selling the unit. The company has confirmed that many businesses, including Apple, have expressed interest in buying the modem division.

According to the report, Intel claims that not a lot of companies have the IP and skills to deliver a 5G modem technology it has and it is currently assessing its options. The sale of the modem business can get Intel several billion dollars, and as for Apple, the acquisition can help it jumpstart its cellular chip business, though the company’s first iteration of an in-house silicon might not arrive for a few years, which could be the reason why Apple was willing to give Qualcomm an enormous sum of money.

Apple is believed to be working on its modem but engineers reportedly expect to develop it by 2025. Given that the iPhone maker has entered a 6-year agreement with Qualcomm, this timelines makes sense, as the company has apparently bought itself more than enough time to become self-sufficient in the distant future. In short, Apple made a prudent business decision by burying the hatchet with Qualcomm and start procuring its 5G modems.

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Source: The Information

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