Apple Might Ditch both Qualcomm and Intel Modems in the Future


The iPhone XS‘ A12 Bionic processor is blazing fast. No other processor has been able to compete with the A12 Bionic chip until Qualcomm announced its Snapdragon 855 processor. Both the chips are based on the 7nm architecture. Apple’s processors are made in-house and are well optimized for iOS.  But Apple has to still rely upon Qualcomm and Intel for the modems.

Recent reports, however, say that Apple is planning to build their own networking modems. This report was published on The Information today.  According to the report, Apple engineers are working on this project close to its headquarters in Northern California. Apple is also hiring network engineers in San Diego recently.

High-Profile Battle with Qualcomm

We earlier reported that Apple’s 5G iPhone will run on Intel’s modem and will launch in 2020. So, Apple modems would probably make an appearance in the 2021 iPhone. Apple is also currently in a high-profile legal battle with its former modem supplier Qualcomm over chip-related licensing fees. This gave Intel a chance in this year’s iPhones.

The Intel XMM 8160 5G modem will offer very clear improvements in power, size, and scalability in a package that will be smaller than a U.S. penny. It will be released in the second half of 2019, and it will support the new standard for 5G New Radio (NR) standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) modes as well as 4G, 3G and 2G legacy radios in a single chipset. (Credit: Intel Corporation)


However, users have noticed the change in networking speeds when comparing Qualcomm and Intel modems. If Apple can make their own modems, it would be as good as their best-in-class A-series processors in iPhones. S-series processors in Apple Watches. W-series wireless chips in AirPods and select Beats headphones, and T-series coprocessors in some of the latest Macs.