More evidence that Apple’s building its own cellular modem

“Today, Apple relies on third parties to supply it with cellular modems for its popular iPhone line of smartphones — wireless giant Qualcomm and microprocessor giant Intel,” Ashraf Eassa writes for The Motley Fool.

“Apple is also the only major smartphone manufacturer left that uses standalone modems. Other smartphone vendors use either integrated applications processor and baseband solutions from third parties (e.g., Qualcomm) or make their own integrated parts (e.g., Samsung and Huawei),” Eassa writes. “In perusing Apple’s job boards, I came across some new evidence that might suggest that Apple has built, and continues to augment, an in-house team dedicated to cellular modem development.”

Eassa writes, “Over the long term, I would not be surprised to see Apple phase out the modems from both Qualcomm and Intel.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Makes perfect sense.

I’ve always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.Steve Jobs, October 12, 2004

• In order to build the best products, you have to own the primary technologies. Steve felt that if Apple could do that — make great products and great tools for people — they in turn would do great things. He felt strongly that this would be his contribution to the world at large. We still very much believe that. That’s still the core of this company.Apple CEO Tim Cook, March 18, 2015


    1. Apple won’t likely license a new modem standard to any other company, so Qualcomm and Intel will be as safe as they have ever been. Apple isn’t going to use those sort of tactics to take down another company. It’s not Apple’s style.

      It’s one reason why the greedy big investors will never value Apple like many other companies are valued. Apple never deliberately tries to put other companies out of business. In theory, Apple actually could afford to do things like that but doesn’t. Apple always just takes the cream and leaves the curd for the rest of the industry to feast from.

    2. Qualcomm’s patented implementation is part of the current stadards. It would be extremely difficult, time consuming, and expensive (quite possibly 3+ years and $100+ million in IR&D) to try to come up with a specific implementation that does not imfringe on any Qualcomm patents (at least in Qualcomm’s estimation). And, in the end, Apple could just fail at coming up with a 100% compliant but non infringing implementation.

      There are waveforms out there developed in the 1970s with the specifics of the waveforms having been published for over 20 years. Competitors to the origninal developers *still* cannot come up with something thst is 100% compatible. That’s how difficult coming up with an independent variant of a waveform is. It really is that difficult.

      Likely Apple will implement an industry its own variant of an industry standard modem and pay Qualcomm the FRAND licensing fees and nothing else. The problem currently is (and this is why so many organizations and governments are going after Qualcomm) that Qualcomm is charging for parts, charging for licensing operations of those parts based upon the value of the *entire* device not just the parts, and further charging licensing fees on the underlying technologies including basing those fees on the underlying value of the device. Depending on how you look at it that’s double or triple dipping.

      If Apple implements its own chips (and maybe integrates them into the A series processors) then at most Apple has to pay the FRAND licensing fees for the underlying standards based technologies.

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