Rumor has it that Apple is considering creating a new research and development team which will be tasked with designing baseband chips for future iPhones.
For those who don’t know, the baseband chip is a crucial component in any smartphone as it controls all of the radio functions. Without it, no communication features would work. Apple currently sources the chips, but rumors from the Asia-based supply claim that its looking to create its own.
Qualcomm provides the baseband chip that Apple uses in both the iPhone and iPads. According to the rumor, Apple could stop sourcing chips from the company in the near future. Apparently the research and development team doesn’t have much time to come up with a similar component, the company is expected to use its own baseband chip in the 2015 iPhone lineup. Its mass production will reportedly be handled by Samsung and Globalfoundries. Another rumor claims that Apple is mulling over the possibility of incorporating a baseband processor in its A-series processors, but its possible that it might stick with two discrete chips for the time being.
The biggest benefit to come out of this would be cost. Wireless related parts are some of the most expensive components that go in a mobile device, Apple can significantly cut on its expenditure if its starts designing and developing the baseband chip in-house. There’s also the potential for power saving. A bespoke baseband chip developed specifically for Apple’s hardware and OS would likely be less demanding on the battery, thus improving the overall battery life of the mobile device.
Apple hasn’t commented on this rumor. Though a lot of recent rumors seem to indicate the same thing, that Apple wants more control over the design and manufacturing of chips that go in its mobile devices. Bringing baseband chip design in-house would certainly be a big step in that direction.
Source: Apple Insider