Although 6G is years away, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is already preparing for that to avoid relying on companies such as Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) with the next generation wireless tech gathering steam. The company launched its 5G iPhones recently, and already it is planning on developing iPhones using 6G wireless speeds, stating that it wants to be a leader on the tech rather than depending on other partners.
Apple advertises jobs for 6G development
Last week, the Cupertino-based company posted job listings for wireless system researcher engineers for next and current generation networks. The job ads are for positions at the company’s San Diego and Silicon Valley offices, where the company is working on chip design and wireless technology development. The job titles include “RAN1/RAN4 Standards Engineer” and “wireless Researcher Systems Engineer 5G/6G.
The listings indicated that potential candidates will be part of the team researching and defining the next-generation standards for 6G. Equally, the ads indicated that the position involves crafting next-gen wireless tech that will impact future Apple products. The engineers will research and design 6G wireless communication systems for RAN with a focus on PHY/MAC/L2/L3 layers. The researchers will take part in academic/ industry forums focusing on 6G tech and contribute to the future 3GPP RAN work on 6G items.
6G tech could launch by 2030
Interestingly, industry watchers are expecting the earliest rollout of 6G to be around 2030. However, according to the listings, Apple wants to be involved in the new tech’s early development stages. The 5G iPhones Apple launched last year use Qualcomm modems, but according to reports, the company is planning on designing its modems. This implies that the company will drop Qualcomm from its future phones. Similarly, the company has been developing its Mac chips, as it seeks to stop relying on Intel Corp (NASDAQ:INTC) chips.
It is important to note that although the company managed to launch its 5G phones, its competitors beat it to the market because it relied on Qualcomm for connection. To get 5G into its latest iPhones the company had to settles a contentious suit with Qualcomm. The investment and commitment to research the 6G wireless network mean that Apple doesn’t want to wait around, but rather get involved from the early stages.
Apple wants to rely more on in-house tech
In 2020, the iPhone maker joined an alliance working on 6G standards and other next-gen cellular technologies. However, the 6G standards and timing are yet to be defined fully, but according to analysts, the tech could enable speeds almost 100X faster than the current 5G.
Apple has been pushing into creating in-house technology. It has already designed iPhone and iPad’s main processors, and in 2020 it expanded the effort to the Mac. Equally, the company has ramped up work on custom screens and camera tech. it commenced work on its custom modem, which is a chip allowing iPhones to connect to wireless networks.