Apple eventually plans to build its own custom modem into cellular MacBook models that could arrive in 2028 at the earliest, according to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman.
Apple has reportedly been working on its own modem since 2018, as it seeks to move away from Qualcomm’s component currently used in iPhones. The timeframe for launching the modem has slipped several times and is now expected to be ready around 2026, and Gurman now hears that Apple has plans for the chip appearing in other Apple devices further down the line.
Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman says that Apple’s custom technology aspirations include integrating an in-house modem into its system-on-a-chip (SoC), which would eventually see the launch of MacBooks with built-in cellular connectivity.
Gurman says Apple will “probably need two or three additional years to get that chip inside cellular versions of the Apple Watch and iPad – and the Mac, once the part is integrated into the company’s system-on-a-chip.”
Apple has explored the possibility of developing MacBooks with cellular connectivity in the past. Indeed, the company reportedly considered launching a MacBook Air with 3G connectivity, but former CEO Steve Jobs said in 2008 that Apple decided against it, since it would take up too much room in the case. An integrated SoC would solve that problem.
Gurman’s latest newsletter also said some of Apple’s other ongoing in-house chip projects include camera sensors, batteries, a combined Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chip that will eventually replace parts from Broadcom, Micro-LED displays for Apple devices, and a non-invasive glucose monitoring system.
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