„2021 State of the Mobile Baseband“

On the other hand, waiting for Qualcomm and Mediatek is fraught with peril. For some reason, Qualcomm does not seem to be sounding alarm bells internally about its growing performance gap against Apple, nor the narrowing gap with Mediatek. Mediatek has made a lot of gains but still lags in some critical areas, like AI for image processing. Qualcomm does have a great track record, and their chip design team is a machine at executing, but right now it seems to be an engine with the gears not fully engaged.

Lastly, is there any hope someone else will come along? No, there isn’t. Google just unveiled a phone AP. That deserves a post in its own right, but that post will conclude – you can’t rely on Google to stay in this business. There are a number of companies in China designing things that could someday be an AP, but these are years from viability. The major chip companies (including Intel, TI and Nvidia) have all been in this business and exited long ago. There really is no knight in shining armor over the horizon.

Digits to Dollars

„I got 99 problems, but a chip ain’t one.“

Der Apple-Qualcomm-Deal läuft noch bis 2025; Johny Srouji bestätigte die Arbeit an einem eigenen Mobilfunkmodem im letzten Dezember.

“This year, we kicked off the development of our first internal cellular modem which will enable another key strategic transition,” he said. “Long-term strategic investments like these are a critical part of enabling our products and making sure we have a rich pipeline of innovative technologies for our future.”

via Mark Gurman

Die Frage ist also nicht ob das Apple-Modem seinen Weg auf den hauseigenen System-on-a-Chip findet, sondern welche proprietären Funktionen Apple damit zukünftig verbindet.

Funkchips könnte Apple problemlos weiterhin (von der Stange) einkaufen, aber ein „entscheidender strategischer Technologiewechsel“ deutet auf (Mobilfunk-)Funktionen hin, die sich nur mit Software und Hardware aus einer Hand realisieren lassen.

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