In recent years, more and more Apple mobile phone users complain about poor iPhone signal.
So how bad is the signal of Apple’s mobile phone?
I have personally experienced such an embarrassment:
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When queuing to pay at a convenience store, due to signal problems, the payment code cannot be displayed for a long time, and in the end, I can only ask friends around me to pay on my behalf.
I believe that many Apple users have encountered similar scenarios.
In the past few years, the baseband supply for Apple’s iPhone came from Intel, so many people attribute the signal problem to the poor performance of the Intel baseband itself.
However, on the iPhone 12 series, Apple re-used the Qualcomm baseband, but the signal problem has not been significantly improved.
Soon after the Apple iPhone 12 was launched, a large number of users responded to the problem of poor mobile phone signal in the Apple community, Tieba, Zhihu and other communities. Netizens said: Switching the flight mode is useless, and you must restart the phone.
Recently, it is reported that Apple has invested a lot of resources in self-developed 5G chips, which brings hope to some Apple users, hoping to completely solve the iPhone signal problem.
On March 10, Apple officially released news that it plans to invest 1 billion euros in Germany for research on 5G and wireless technology, and will also build a European chip design center in Munich.
Subsequently, well-known industry analysts said that Apple’s self-developed 5G baseband chip is expected to debut in 2023, which means that the iPhone 15, (tentative name) may use Apple’s own baseband chip.
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What does Apple rely on to develop baseband chips?
In fact, baseband research and development is extremely difficult, and Apple has no accumulation in communication technology. It is a very risky thing to rush to invest huge resources in research and development of baseband chips.
However, Apple, which has always been accustomed to “seeking stability”, has already made a lot of preparations for baseband research and development.
For many people, Apple is a company with strong chip design capabilities, and its A-series processors can be said to be the best in terms of performance.
However, the development of baseband chips is often more difficult than AP (application processing). Apple cannot complete the baseband research and development tasks on its own, so in 2019, Apple acquired Intel’s smartphone baseband business.
In the past, there were dozens of manufacturers that could supply baseband chips.
However, after entering the 5G era, there are only 5 manufacturers that are still launching 5G baseband products: Qualcomm, Huawei, Samsung, MediaTek, and Unigroup Zhanrui. It is conceivable how high the threshold for the development of 5G baseband chips is.
For Apple, it is even more difficult to directly develop 5G chips if it wants to skip 2G, 3G, and 4G.
The 5G baseband chip needs to be compatible with 2G/3G/4G networks at the same time. Apple has no technical accumulation in communication before, and must go back to make up lessons. It will cost a lot of money, and it does not include the time and economic cost of testing with global operators. .
Fortunately, Apple’s acquisition of Intel’s baseband business can help it reduce a lot of costs.
It is understood that Apple’s acquisition of Intel’s baseband business spent a total of US$1 billion (approximately RMB 6.8 billion), making it the second largest acquisition in Apple’s history.
The main results of this transaction include: approximately 2,200 Intel employees, more than 17,000 wireless technology patent portfolios.
Why should Apple develop 5G baseband by itself?
The editor believes that Apple’s self-developed 5G baseband may be able to solve the signal problem on the one hand, and on the other hand, it may be to directly integrate the baseband chip on the A series processors in the future.
The iPhone has always used the external baseband method, which has caused the iPhone’s heat and power consumption problems to be more significant. If an integrated baseband solution can be adopted in the future, the user experience may be greatly improved.
Regardless of user experience, from the perspective of Apple’s strategy, self-developed 5G basebands can allow Apple to no longer be constrained in the supply of core components.
In 2019, Apple CEO Cook responded to Apple’s acquisition of Intel’s baseband business, saying that Apple’s purpose is to “control core technology.”
For Apple, it has always been a persistent direction to control the supply of core components in its own hands.
In addition to processors and baseband chips, Apple is currently cooperating with Taiwanese manufacturers to develop Micro LED panels and will have its own production line in the future.
As for other non-core components, Apple also hopes to adopt the model of co-supplying by multiple suppliers.
On the one hand, it is for the stable shipment of its own products, on the other hand, it is to improve its bargaining power and expand profits.V