What if the first product with an Apple 5G modem wasn't the iPhone?

apple 5g
Credits: Fastweb

In an ideal world, the products Apple Lossless Audio CODEC (ALAC), they would be composed solely of "homemade" components, including a proprietary 5G modem. Despite the efforts, Cupertino is struggling to make it happen and is consequently staying put delaying the debut, to the delight of Qualcomm which continues to sell it its modems dear price. Just recently, noted insider Mark Gurman of Bloomberg reported yet another delay compared to the competition, but the rumors also reveal which products it could be used on.

Apple wants to debut its 5G modem on the MacBook family, but it will take time

apple 5g modem
Credits: MacRumors

So far, Apple's 5G modem has only been talked about in relation to smartphones, especially in the case of the next one iPhone SE. Initially it was believed that it would be the first product to have it, but the continuous postponements may have changed the Californian company's plans.

It all started in 2019, when Apple acquired Intel's mobile modem division with the aim of achieving this goal and breaking away from Qualcomm. The company is said to still be “years later” compared to companies in the sector: initially 2025 was the year expected for the debut, but the postponement may have pushed it towards 2026.

Then there is the 2028, a year that is mentioned once again by Mark Gurman, this time referring to the series MacBook. Apple's intentions would be to use its 5G modem also on notebooks, alongside the proprietary Apple Silicon solutions of the Mx series. According to the insider, “it will likely need another two or three years to get that chip into cellular versions of the Apple Watch and iPad — and the Mac, once the component is integrated into the company's SoC".

When Steve Jobs was still alive, Apple had considered the idea of ​​creating a MacBook Air with a built-in data network, but the project was shelved due to the structural limitations of the time. In 2008, the then CEO decided to leave it alone as incorporating a modem would have taken up too much space in the body, a limit today overcome by the miniaturization of System-on-a-Chip.

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