The Apple M1 chip is just the beginning of Apple’s ambitious plans for custom silicon. Apparently, the next step for the company is to replace the current Qualcomm modem on the iPhone with the new Apple 5G modem. With the M1 chip doing well, sometimes even outperforming competing Intel chips, Apple is now looking for the same exclusivity for the iPhone that deployed on the Mac.
According to reports, Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technology, announced to employees that the company is now working on its own “internal cellular modem.” The sheer disclosure was enough to drop Qualcomm’s stake by 4.4%.
What is a 5G/Cellular Modem?
The cellular modem or 5G modem on the smartphone is a component that helps it connect to the network and use cellular data. The latest cellular modems are capable of 5G speeds, and one of those modems is the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55, which is used in the current iPhone 12 and provides them with 5G capabilities.
This modem is on all of our phones and many of our tablets. In fact, we even have some laptops that support 4G LTE SIM cards and don’t need WiFi to connect to the web. Apple replacing Qualcomm’s modems will likely open up the possibility of Apple using the 5G support that stands in the whole MacBook lineup. It can take advantage of features via eSIM, such as the current Apple Watch.
Apple And Qualcomm: It’s Back
If you thought that the Apple guys just woke up in 2020 and decided to replace a Qualcomm modem, you are wrong. In April 2019, Apple and Qualcomm settled a two-year-long legal battle when the former decided to settle. Three months later, in July, Apple acquired Intel’s smartphone modem division in a $1 billion deal. That was when we knew it was about time Apple brought out its own modems to replace Qualcomm’s.
The current iPhone 12 lineup is receiving criticism for its poor battery life when running 5G. The inclusion of an external 5G modem may be the reason for this drain, forcing Apple to use its own modem.
What to Expect on Apple’s 5G Modem
Apple’s 5G modem will definitely open up new possibilities for the company. The latest M1 chip in the Mac lineup allows it to run iOS apps natively on a Mac. Just like that, if the tech giant decides to use its own 5G modem, it will be able to create something with compatibility and consistency across devices.
The first thing we can expect from Apple’s 5G modem is the better battery life for the iPhone. The reason is, the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip can beat Apple in 5G because of the integrated modem. This modem might also be the next big thing for the next generation iPhone processors.
Second, we can expect the same chip as the integrated 5G modem in the iPad, and perhaps, less likely, a 5G-capable MacBook. Because, why not? If Apple makes a modem that will run the iPhone, iPad, and possibly the Apple Watch as well, it might as well step up the game with a 5G e-SIM enabled MacBook.