Apple Inc launched its first iPhones with 5G wireless speeds a few months ago. You are now looking to get started on 6th generation cellular connectivity, or 6G, which indicates that you want to be a leader in technology rather than relying on other companies.
The Cupertino, California-based company this week posted job postings seeking wireless systems research engineers for current and next-generation networks. The listings are for positions at Apple’s Silicon Valley and San Diego offices, where the company works on wireless technology development and chip design.
“You will have the unique and rewarding opportunity to create next-generation wireless technology that will have a profound impact on future Apple products,” according to the job announcement. “In this role, you will be at the center of a cutting-edge research group responsible for creating disruptive next-generation radio access technologies for the next decade.”
Individuals hired for the positions will “research and design next generation (6G) wireless communication systems for radio access networks” and “participate in industry / academic forums passionate about 6G technology.” Industry watchers don’t expect 6G to roll out until around 2030, but job listings indicate that Apple wants to be involved in the early stages of new technology development. A company spokeswoman declined to comment.
Apple’s current line of iPhones use 5G modems designed by Qualcomm Inc.While the company released its first 5G devices at an opportune time, several phone makers brought them to market and Apple relied heavily on Qualcomm to connect to the new wireless network, dramatically improving the amount and speed of data that consumers can download. In order to bring 5G to the latest iPhones, Apple settled a contentious lawsuit with the San Diego-based chipmaker. Apple’s early involvement in 6G research and design indicates that it won’t wait for the next big thing.
Late last year, Apple joined an alliance of companies working on standards for 6G and other next-generation cellular technologies. The standards and timing for 6G are still loosely defined, but some analysts say the technology could enable speeds more than 100 times faster than 5G.
Job offers are another sign of Apple’s continued drive to develop more technology internally. The company has designed core processors for the iPhone and iPad and expanded that effort to Mac last year. It has also improved work on its own custom displays and camera technologies, as well as wireless chips for AirPods, Apple Watch and precise location data.
Last year, Apple began developing its first custom modem, the chip that allows phones to connect to wireless networks. In a public meeting with employees in December, Johny Srouji, Apple’s head of technology and custom chip, said that “long-term strategic investments like these are a critical part of enabling our products and ensuring we have a wide range of innovative technologies for our future. “
Although Apple is laying the groundwork to be a key player in 6G, it has a lot of work ahead of it to take full advantage of 5G, a technology in its infancy. The company hasn’t expanded 5G to other devices like the Apple Watch and iPad, and it sells several iPhones that use older 4G technology. Apple’s first modem is likely to be for 5G connectivity.