A few months after launching iPhones with 5G wireless speeds, Apple.Inc is already looking to start developing 6G, or sixth-generation cellular connectivity. The company plans to hire wireless system research engineers for current and next-generation networks and has already posted job listings for positions in its Silicon Valley and San Diego offices. The job announcement promised applicants the chance to “craft next-generation wireless technology that will have a deep impact on future Apple products.”
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Though industry watchers insist that 6G isn’t on the cards for a rollout until at least 2030, Apple’s job listings show that it wants to stay ahead of the game. By getting involved in the initial development of 6G wireless, Apple will be recognized as a leader in tech innovation and develop more technology in-house.
Currently, Apple’s iPhones use 5G modems designed by Qualcomm Inc, a company Apple relies on for connection to the new wireless network. Apple had to settle a lawsuit with the chipmaker just to get 5G into its product line. The company then joined an alliance of companies working on standards for 6G and other next-generation cellular technologies.
6G is supposed to enable speeds that are 100 times faster than 5G. Though Apple has started laying the groundwork for developing this wireless connectivity, it still has a lot of ground to cover with 5G, a technology that is still in its nascent stages. The company only started developing its first custom modem last year. At the time, Johny Srouji, Apple’s custom technology, and chip head told employees that making strategic investments was “a critical part of (…) making sure we have a rich pipeline of innovative technologies for our future.” Apple has its work cut out for it. It will have to expand 5G to devices like the Apple Watch and iPad. It will also have to phase out the sale of iPhones that use older 4G technology. Still, the job listings signal Apple’s vision and its investment in making 6G wireless a part of its legacy.