A new report from Reuters claims that Apple has now shifted its engineering team behind these modems to the company's primary hardware technology group responsible for A-Series and S-Series chip development.
Modems are an indispensable part of phones and other mobile devices, connecting them to wireless data networks. Reuters further reported that Johny Srouji, Apples senior vice president of hardware technologies, took over the companys modem design efforts in January.More news: New oil find could be a 'game changer' for SA, says Ramaphosa
You may recall the reports in the media, including in these columns of a job advertisement that attracted attention some time back where Apple had called for designers of cellular modems. Apple had been using Qualcomm chips but dropped it completely from their iPhones that were released previous year. The project had previously been led by Rubén Caballero, who heads up Apple's wireless system design engineering group.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Srouji joined Apple in 2008 to lead chip design, including the custom A-series processors that power iPhones and iPads and a special Bluetooth chip that helps those devices pair with its AirPods wireless headphones and other Apple accessories. Apple's timeline for coming out with its own modem chip could put it behind the initial launch of 5G phones, though it's been widely expected that the 2019 iPhones would lack 5G connectivity.More news: Sprint Sues AT&T To Block 5GE Wireless Service Label
"I believe that Apple is expanding their presence in San Diego to primarily bolster their wireless capabilities, especially their efforts to build their own modems".
All of the modem chips used in Apple devices were supplied by Qualcomm not too long ago, but over the past few years, the company has transitioned to using only Intel modems.More news: Free mobile roaming charges law ends with no-deal Brexit
Qualcomm's 5G modem will equip several Android smartphones this year, with rivals Samsung and Huawei manufacturing their own smartphone modems. Qualcomm provides this synergy for phones like the Samsung Galaxy S9, which uses both Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor and Snapdragon LTE modem. Late previous year, job listings indicated that Apple was looking to hire a lot of cellular modem systems architects, fueling rumors that Apple would start designing its own iPhone modems. That saves space and battery life, two important considerations if Apple introduces augmented reality features into future products.