Several new job postings suggest Apple is developing its own in-house modem for use in future iPhone models.
The job listings, first spotted by The Information, show that the Cupertino-based tech giant is actively courting cellular modem systems architects. In fact, Apple is even going so far as to look for candidates in San Diego, the stomping ground of rival Qualcomm.
What’s more, citing an anonymous source, The Information reports Apple plans to use its own modems as a means to cut its reliance on Intel for the iPhone’s cellular connectivity.
With the exception of older iPhone models, Apple currently sources all of the modems for its current iPhone lineup — iPhone XS, XS Max and XR — from Intel. In an uncharacteristic move for the smartphone maker, which typically dual sources almost all of the internal components in its devices as a way to leverage its suppliers against one another, Apple started single sourcing modems from Intel earlier this year. The company’s decision to drop Qualcomm — whose LTE modems have consistently outperformed their Intel counterparts — came after negotiations with the chipmaker descended into an ongoing legal spat.
Beyond reducing its reliance on both Intel and Qualcomm for parts, it’s likely one of Apple’s motivations in designing its own modems is to integrate the component into the design of its A-series chipsets. Creating a system-on-a-chip (SoC) that features a CPU, GPU and modem on a single silicon die brings with it several benefits, the most notable of which is reduced overall power consumption.