Apple Ramps Up 6G Technology Development Amid 5G Modem Challenges: Gurman


Apple is working on adding support for 6G connectivity to the company’s future devices, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. The Cupertino company has reportedly faced challenges over the past few years as it attempts to develop its own 5G modem and reduce its reliance on chipmakers like Qualcomm. The iPhone maker is focusing on developing 6G technology and is also hiring employees to work on the next-generation cellular network standard, he states in the latest edition of his weekly Power On newsletter.

Gurman spotted a job listing posted to the company’s website last month for a modem systems software architect to join the company’s Wireless Technologies and Ecosystems (WTE) team. Apple’s prospective cellular platform architects will be tasked with coordinating the development of 6G reference architecture alongside prototype implementations.

From the job listing’s description, it appears that Apple wants to assess the implementation of 6G technology in future devices and the engineers hired for the role will have to collaborate with the company’s research and development teams and external partners. Candidates must have at least 10 years of work experience and a master’s or PhD degree in electrical engineering, according to the company.

It is worth noting that the 5G standard was only introduced in July 2017, while carriers began to roll out networks with the current-generation network standard in 2019. While the new standard — 6G — is expected to be finalised over the next couple of years, customers shouldn’t expect to see 6G capable devices until the end of the decade.

Last month, it was reported that Apple would miss its target to develop a 5G modem for its smartphones by 2025. The smartphone maker is expected to launch its own modem on a future iPhone model by 2026, as per the report. Apple and Qualcomm renewed a contract that allowed the former to access the chipmaker’s modem technology until 2026. 

Apple’s purported 5G modem might not offer better performance than the other smartphones and the firm’s own handsets equipped with Qualcomm’s chips, according to the report that describes Apple’s challenges with implementing advanced millimetre-wave (mmWave) technology. The company also reportedly faces the additional challenge of ensuring that its chip technology doesn’t infringe on Qualcomm’s patents.


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