Apple could bring its own custom cellular modem to its MacBook line in 2028, according to a recent report from Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, an often reliable source of leaks.
The tech giant has reportedly been working on its own modem technology since 2018 to move away from the Qualcomm chip it currently uses in its iPhones. The timeline for the modem’s release has reportedly been pushed back several times, with rumours now pointing to 2026 for Apple’s iPhone cellular modem. This is the first time there’s been a report regarding the technology coming to devices beyond Apple’s smartphone line.
According to Gurman, Apple’s in-house modem will be integrated into its system-on-a-chip (SoC), making it easier for the tech giant to transfer the chip from its iPhone A-series chips to its M-series Mac silicone.
Gurman says Apple will “probably need two or three additional years to get that chip inside cellular versions of the Apple Watch and iPad — and the Mac, once the part is integrated into the company’s system-on-a-chip.”
I’ve never had much interest in my laptop having a dedicated data connection because whenever I need to use the internet on my MacBook, I tether to my smartphone. With a few exceptions, the connection is reliable and easy to setup. The prospect of paying for two data plans also doesn’t interest me.
Still, I can see how a built-in cellular modem might be useful for some, especially from an enterprise perspective.