Apple has steadily stepped up investments in its chip manufacturing division, and is now counted among the top five chip-makers in the world. Quite evidently Apple wants to reduce its dependence on Intel and Qualcomm two of the leading chip providers for smartphones and already manufactures core processors for iPhones and iPads. Most recently, it developed the AI chip that powers the facial recognition feature in the much-hyped iPhone X, thus making it clear that it would lead the charge in AI-related software in the time to come. Also Read - iPhone 13 to come with faster charging as compared to iPhone 12Also Read - Apple TV Plus for free: PS5 owners get six months subscription free of cost
Now, a report on Nikkei Asian Review reveals that Apple might be gearing up for significant investments in building semiconductors too. It is keen to build core processors for notebooks, modem chips for iPhones, and a chip that can integrate touch, fingerprint, and display driver functions. One of the reasons Apple is turning its attention towards semiconductors is that it wants to stay ahead of its peers in the AI age that is upon the tech world. More homegrown technological capabilities will also bring down manufacturing costs for Apple. ALSO READ: Apple patent reveals superior audio system for FaceTime and HomePod Also Read - This photo shot with iPhone X by an Indian wins iPhone Photography Awards
“We believe that more system houses will design their own chips. The purposes are to develop and protect their proprietary technology information, to make more efficient chips for their unique need, to lower [costs] and to do inventory control better and keep all logistic operation confidentially,” a Gartner analyst was quoted as saying. Currently, Apple buys modem chips for iPhones from either Qualcomm or Intel. In the past year, it has been embroiled in a bitter legal battle with Qualcomm over patents. Both companies have filed billion-dollar lawsuits against each other. ALSO READ: Apple joins bid for Toshiba s chip business with a $3 billion offer: Report
Apple made its intentions clear last month when it made a $3 billion bid for Toshiba’s chip business. Toshiba, which supplies flash memory for Apple’s iPhones and iPods, is looking to close a $19 billion deal for its chip-making division, and has also invited bids from Western Digital and Foxconn. Apple, meanwhile, is already manufacturing its own screens. And going ahead, it will develop more device parts entirely on its own. “Apple has hired engineers from Taiwan’s No. 1 display-driver chip designers Novatek and panel makers of AU Optronics as it wants to control next-generation display technology and some related key components,” a chip industry official reportedly said.