Apple is reportedly stepping up its efforts to increase production of iPhone parts in its home. According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple is building a new office focused on developing internal chips, replacing the chips currently offered by Broadcom and Skyworks.
The report explains that Apple wants to hire “several dozen people” for chip development in Irvine, California. Coincidentally, this is close to where Skyworks and Broadcom also have offices. Apple is looking for employees who have “experience with modem chips and wireless semiconductors.”
Besides, Bloomberg reports that employees working in the new Irvine offices will work on wireless radios, radio frequency integrated circuits and the wireless system. The team will also focus on semiconductors to connect Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
The report explains:
It is part of a broader strategy to expand satellite offices, allowing the technology giant to target engineering and attract employees who may not want to work at its home base in Silicon Valley. The approach has also helped Apple achieve its goal of creating more of its own components.
The effort is based on Apple’s earlier work on wireless chips. AirPods and Apple Watch already include custom parts that allow them to pair with devices, and Apple’s latest iPhones include U1 ultra-wideband chips to pinpoint their location and connect to AirTag plug-ins and other products.
Apple and Broadcom reached a two-year contract back in January 2020. Under the contract, Broadcom agreed to supply additional wireless components to Apple. Broadcom shipped radio components and modules to the iPhone to Apple prior to this agreement, so the 2020 agreement marked the expansion of the relationship between Broadcom and Skyworks.
In December 2019, it was rumored that Broadcom was investigating the possible sale of its business with wireless RF chips, and some analysts predict that Apple could be a potential suitor. This did not materialize in the end.
Meanwhile, Skyworks has relied on Apple for more than half of its revenue in recent years. Earlier this year, however, the company reduced its reliance on Apple with a special purchase agreement worth $ 2.75 billion.
Finally, while Apple is currently using Qualcomm modems in the iPhone 13, the company continues its efforts to make modems in its home. Apple bought Intel’s smartphone business modem for $ 1 billion back in 2019, and trusted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said a 5G modem designed by Apple will be delivered to the iPhone in 2023 “at the earliest.”
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