Apple has moved its modem chip engineering effort into its in-house hardware technology group from its supply chain unit, two people familiar with the move told Reuters, a sign the tech company is looking to develop a key component of its iPhones after years of buying it from outside suppliers.
Understandable move by Apple, both from a business perspective, and from a security perspective. The open source world really needs to build open source baseband processors at some point.
I want to see how this plays out. Apple was criticised for not licensing a Qualcomm SoC (back when they were the best thing available) and now Apple’s own chips run circles around anything Qualcomm has to offer. Could we see that happening with modems too? On the other hand Qualcomm has loft of patents which fence off several innovations regarding modems, and modems are what they ‘ve been doing as a company since forever.
What this move definitely proves is that companies with lots of cash (Apple and Samsung) are more able to control their fate. They can also achieve cost reductions by moving design in-house.