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Apple allegedly begins work on in-house modem for future iPhones.

India, Feb. 8 -- Highlights:

* Apple allegedly begins development of modem in-house.

* Intel is currently the only modem supplier to Apple.

Apple has usually employed the policy of sourcing materials and technologies from two suppliers at the very least. But its war with Qualcomm had forced the company to rely on Intel for the modems in the iPhone. What this has resulted in is sometimes slower performance when it comes to 4G upload and download speeds. Given the inability to work with Qualcomm and Intel's slower chips. This has allegedly led to Apple working on its own modem for future devices.

The development is allegedly being led by Johny Srouji, Senior Vice President of Hardware Technologies. Srouji has been with Apple since 2008 when he was a senior chip designer with the company. Srouji is the man responsible for the A-series processors and the W chips used in the AirPods.

If the company is indeed working on an in-house modem, we do not expect it to be a part of the 2019 iPhone. Apple will have to integrate the modem into the processor in order to make it as power efficient as possible, which would require not just the work on the modem, but also some work on the basic architecture of the processor. Incidentally, if Apple did have to make their own modems, now is the perfect time to start doing that since 5G will start rolling out in full swing within the next two years.

Bad blood between Apple and Qualcomm stems from various reasons, but one of them revolves around the modem. Qualcomm charges Apple $30 per modem and additionally, has been asking for a $7.50 royalty. Apple claims that with this practice, Qualcomm is double-dipping as they are charging a patent royalty above the cost of the modem. Apple has argued that Qualcomm should be charging one or the other fee, but not both. Qualcomm, in return, says that Apple has mischaracterized the agreement between the two companies and is now just backing off on its commitments . If Apple does manage to install its own modems in future devices, it could amount to huge savings in the long run, but in the short, it would require millions of dollars' worth of investment.

Published by HT Digital Content Services with permission from Digit.

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Date:Feb 8, 2019
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