Apple Said to Put iPhone Modem Engineering Unit Into Chip Design Group

Apple Inc has moved its own modem chip engineering effort to its in-house hardware technology group from its distribution chain unit, two people knowledgeable about the movement told Reuters, a signal the tech business is seeking to develop an integral part of its iPhones after years of buying it from outside providers.

Modems are an integral part of mobiles and other mobile devices, linking them to wireless data networks. Apple once used Qualcomm chips only but started phasing in Intel chips in 2016 and dropped Qualcomm out of iPhones released last year.

The organisational move hasn’t been previously reported.

Srouji joined Apple in 2008 to direct chip design, including the custom A-series processors that electricity iPhones and iPads and a particular Bluetooth chip that assists those apparatus set with its AirPods wireless headphones and other Apple accessories.

The modem attempts had previously been led by RubĂ©n Caballero, who reports to Dan Riccio, the executive accountable for iPad, iPhone and Mac technology, a lot of that involves integrating components from the organization’s vast electronics supply chain.

Apple declined to comment. Technology book The Information previously reported that Apple was working to develop its own modem processor.

The Cupertino, California-based firm has submitted job listings for modem engineers at San Diego, a heart for wireless design talent due to Qualcomm’s longtime presence there and also a place where Apple has said it plans to develop its work force.

Apple’s effort to create its own modem processors could take years, and it’s impossible to know when, or in exactly what devices, such chips might appear.

“When you’re Apple, everything has to be good,” said Linley Gwennap, president of chip industry research firm The Linley Group. “There’s no room to get some substandard part in that phone.”

Apple’s investment in modem processors comes as carriers and other phone makers are rolling out devices for the next generation of wireless networks called 5G.

Rival handset manufacturers Samsung Electronics and Huawei Technologies already make their own modems.

Making its own modem processors would likely cost Apple hundreds of millions of dollars or more per year in development costs, analysts said, however may save money eventually.

Modem chips are a important portion of the price of Apple apparatus, worth $15 to $20 (approximately Rs. 1,100 to Rs. 1,400) each and likely costing Apple $3 billion to $4 billion to the 200 million or so iPhones it leaves a year, said Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon.

Apple may also benefit by mixing its own modem chips using its processor chips, as Samsung, Huawei and the majority of other phone manufacturers do. That conserves space and battery life, two major factors if Apple introduces augmented reality features into future products.

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