Apple’s desire to control everything from start to end is pretty well-known. This is compared to other OEMs who might either use ready-made parts or utilize reference designs to create their products. This is perfectly fine as not many companies have the resources or have plans to start up their own R&D division.
Now according to a report from DigiTimes, they are claiming that Apple is currently putting together a new engineering team that will allegedly work on creating baseband hardware for future iPhone models.
At the moment, the baseband chips used in iPhone models are being supplied by Qualcomm and manufactured by TSMC and if the reports are true, Apple shift to an in-house design will affect both Qualcomm and TSMC.
The report also suggests that these chips will not be making their debut this year and will most likely be reserved for iPhones in 2015, which could be the iPhone 6s assuming that Apple maintains its release cycle.
DigiTimes also adds that it is possible that Apple could eventually develop SoCs that will integrate application processors and baseband chips, although the likely scenario is that Apple will keep to using discrete baseband chips, at least for the time being. It should be noted that while this sounds like something Apple would do, DigiTimes’ track record has been pretty spotty so do take it with a grain of salt for now.
It is also unlikely that this is something Apple will actually announce publicly so if we wanted any confirmation, teardown of 2015’s iPhones would probably be a good way to figure out if the reports have any merit to them.