You can say 5G is still in its infancy. It has not been implemented everywhere and it was only a year ago that 5G-capable smartphones started becoming mainstream. However, that has not stopped companies from working on the next-generation of mobile connectivity. Last year, Samsung published a white paper on its vision of 6G. And now, a job listing on Bloomberg has hinted at Apple is also working on 6G independently.
Apple and 6G
Apple doesn’t like to implement new technology in its infancy. The company likes to put time into research and development and only implement certain technology when it’s mature enough. For instance, Apple waited for 5G coverage in the US to grow and become more accessible before launching the 5G-enabled iPhone 12 lineup. However, the “let it mature” strategy seemed to have paid off as iPhone 12 Pro Max was recently named the most popular 5G phone in the US by PCMag.
Apple and Next G Alliance
Just a few months ago, we got to know about Apple’s interest in the next-generation mobile connectivity when it joined the Next G Alliance. The Next G Alliance is a group of companies working to maintain North American mobile technology leadership in 5G evolution and early development of 6G. The group consists of leading telecom operators, vendors, and hardware manufacturers. At present, the North American companies seemed to lag behind in the development of the 5G infrastructure.
Apple is looking for 6G Engineers
In addition to its contribution to the cause of the Next G Alliance, it looks like Apple is working on 6G on its own. Recently, Bloomberg reported that the company is looking for engineers and researchers to work on the development of 6G connectivity.
In the job posting, Apple has called individuals for job titles like “Wireless Research System Engineer – 5G/6G” and “RAN1/RAN4 Standards Engineer.” Selected candidates will take part in “research and design of next-generation wireless communication systems for radio access networks.” The candidates should also be willing to “participate in industry/academics forums passionate about 6G technology.”
This could mean that Apple is looking to utilize its own technology and hardware when 6G eventually rolls out. Currently, Apple has been relying on Qualcomm for 5G modems. The Snapdragon X55 modem on 2020’s flagship Android phones is also on the iPhone 12 lineup. The company is also working on its own 5G modems. But there is still a long way for that to make its way into commercial products. According to the reports, 2021’s iPhones will use Snapdragon X60 while their successors will use the X65. Apple will be using its own modems only in 2023 and beyond.
In spite of all the research and developments, the next generation 6G mobile connectivity will be deployed in 2030 at the earliest. It is expected to be around 100 times faster than 5G.
- Also, check out our review of the iPhone 12 Pro Max.