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Phones

Apple may be working on cellular modem chips in-house

A new report indicates that Apple's looking for a Cellular Modem Systems Architect.

Angela Lang/CNET

Your future iPhone might have a home-grown cell modem in it. 

Apple's looking to hire a lead designer for a cell modem platform, according to a job listing it recently posted. A story in The Information (subscription required) brought attention to the job posting and also said a source with knowledge about Apple's plans affirmed there's an internal project for developing its own communications hardware.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

"If you want something done right, do it yourself" seems to be Apple's mantra of late. The company already designs its own security chips, mobile CPUs and Bluetooth chips, plus it just bought a chunk of the business that makes its power-management controllers and is rumored to be working on its own notebook CPU for 2020. So it wouldn't be a surprise if Apple decided to go its own way with one of the most important parts of the iPhone, too. 

Apple's rocky relationship with Qualcomm, the biggest supplier in mobile processing platforms, has led it to switch to Intel modems in iPhones. However, speed tests have shown Qualcomm-powered smartphones are capable of faster network speeds than the devices running on Intel processors. Making its own modems could be an important move for Apple.

If true, it also means we might someday see cell connectivity in MacBooks.

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Apple MacBook (12-inch, space gray, 2017)
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