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Apple MacBook with in-house cellular modem may launch in 2028

Apple MacBook with in-house cellular modem may launch in 2028
20 Nov 2023

Apple is reportedly working on creating its own custom modem for cellular MacBook models, with a potential release in 2028, as per Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

The tech giant has been developing the modem since 2018, with the goal of replacing Qualcomm components currently found in iPhones.

The launch timeline for the modem has experienced multiple delays. Gurman also reveals that Apple plans to incorporate the modem into other devices down the line.

Integrating modem into system-on-a-chip (SoC)

The company's custom technology ambitions involve integrating its proprietary modem into a system-on-a-chip (SoC), paving the way for MacBooks with built-in cellular connectivity.

Gurman asserts that 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."

An integrated SoC would tackle previous concerns regarding space constraints in MacBook casings.

Apple has looked into creating MacBooks with built-in cellular connectivity

Apple has already investigated the potential of creating MacBooks with cellular connectivity in the past.

There were reports suggesting the company contemplated introducing a MacBook Air with 3G connectivity.

However, in 2008, former CEO Steve Jobs indicated that Apple opted against it due to concerns about the space it would occupy within the case.

An integrated System-on-Chip (SoC) would probably address this issue.

Other in-house chip projects in the works

Besides the cellular modem, Apple is said to be working on various other in-house chip projects.

These encompass camera sensors, batteries, a combined Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chip to replace components from Broadcom, Micro-LED displays for Apple devices, and a non-invasive glucose monitoring system.

These advancements underscore Apple's ongoing commitment to lessen reliance on external suppliers and bolster its product lineup with custom-designed components.