Apple jumpstarting 6G development with new hires

Posted:
in iPhone
Apple is looking to hire a slew of engineers to develop the nascent 6G wireless networking technology for future iPhones.

Apple beginning development of 6G
Apple beginning development of 6G


According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple is seeking engineers for jobs in Silicon Valley and San Diego for developing 6G. Apple has shown previous interest in the technology by joining a 6G industry group called the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS).

"You will have the unique and rewarding opportunity to craft next generation wireless technology that will have deep 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 next generation disruptive radio access technologies over the next decade."

Apple is developing its own 5G modems in-house to further reduce its reliance on Qualcomm, so starting 6G development is a natural next step.

Apple rolled out 5G with the iPhone 12 lineup with support for sub-6GHz bands around the world and mmWave only in the US. Despite this limitation, 5G has caused a super-cycle of demand around the world, especially in China where 5G infrastructure is strong.

It is unknown exactly when Apple's internal modems will be ready, but the next iPhone is a prime target. Apple will likely continue to expand 5G support for more bands around the world as the technology matures.

Likewise, while the core of 6G technologies have been announced, deployment is many years away, perhaps up to a decade.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    Unsurprising, but also surprising. 5G isn’t even of particular significance right now. I keep 5G off on my iPhone 12 Pro to save battery because there is currently no gain from using 5G.

    I know technologies are developed well before they become useful, but I feel like this charade is getting old. LTE never lived up to the potential in the US but they pushed into 5G. And 5G isn’t generally reaching LTE+ potential speeds (except for mmWave). Maybe 6G will live up to the promises of LTE+ :)
    lkruppStrangeDaysllamawatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 17
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,480member
    georgie01 said:
    Unsurprising, but also surprising. 5G isn’t even of particular significance right now. I keep 5G off on my iPhone 12 Pro to save battery because there is currently no gain from using 5G.

    I know technologies are developed well before they become useful, but I feel like this charade is getting old. LTE never lived up to the potential in the US but they pushed into 5G. And 5G isn’t generally reaching LTE+ potential speeds (except for mmWave). Maybe 6G will live up to the promises of LTE+ :)
    5G has been seriously overhyped to the point of ridiculousness. All of the so-called advanced features of 5G are literally years away from being useful. Right now the ONLY feature of 5G being advertised ad nauseam is its supposed speed but that is being called into question too. The main reason carriers have jumped on the bandwagon is that they get to charge more for 5G service and the public buys into it.

    And again, today, right now, what advantage is 5G to cellphone users? Not tomorrow, not next year, today. Why should I pay extra for 5G service at this point?
    edited February 18 StrangeDaysllama
  • Reply 3 of 17
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,080member
    georgie01 said:
    Unsurprising, but also surprising. 5G isn’t even of particular significance right now. I keep 5G off on my iPhone 12 Pro to save battery because there is currently no gain from using 5G.

    I know technologies are developed well before they become useful, but I feel like this charade is getting old. LTE never lived up to the potential in the US but they pushed into 5G. And 5G isn’t generally reaching LTE+ potential speeds (except for mmWave). Maybe 6G will live up to the promises of LTE+ :)
    The problem isn’t technology, it’s the way spectrum is auctioned off in the US: it only requires deployment/coverage, it doesn’t mandate services quality. And as such TelCos make cells as big as possible to reach the contractually mandated coverage, and then only improve service quality when and where absolutely necessary.
    As a result people are stuck with crowded cells with sub-par performance.

    Other jurisdictions set not only coverage but also service quality standards, as part of the frequency auctions; if telcos don’t meet both, they forfeit spectrum for which they paid a lot of money. That properly incentivizes them to actually live up much better to the promise of a technology.

    Similar issues with road construction: in many jurisdictions a company bidding for building a road has to warrantee it for a certain amount of time, e.g. a decade. If it doesn’t hold up and requires maintenance, the company must provide it free of charge (and likely has to be insured to prevent shell companies from conveniently going out of business after construction is done). At least in many US jurisdictions the company with the lowest bid gets the job, no warranties required. Correspondingly shoddy/cheap is the road construction, with a few years later already having cracks and potholes all over.

    In short: Blame the political process, not technology…
    gregoriusmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 17
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,757member
    georgie01 said:
    Unsurprising, but also surprising. 5G isn’t even of particular significance right now. I keep 5G off on my iPhone 12 Pro to save battery because there is currently no gain from using 5G.

    I know technologies are developed well before they become useful, but I feel like this charade is getting old. LTE never lived up to the potential in the US but they pushed into 5G. And 5G isn’t generally reaching LTE+ potential speeds (except for mmWave). Maybe 6G will live up to the promises of LTE+ :)

    I have surprisingly excellent AT&T 5G coverage in my area with speeds that far exceed what I was seeing with LTE. So much so that I am using the tethering functionality more often.
    While I haven't done a controlled study to see if it affects battery life, my 12 Pro has plenty of juice left at the end of the day and I would never bother to turn off the 5G radio.
    chemengin1watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 17
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,480member
    rcfa said:
    georgie01 said:
    Unsurprising, but also surprising. 5G isn’t even of particular significance right now. I keep 5G off on my iPhone 12 Pro to save battery because there is currently no gain from using 5G.

    I know technologies are developed well before they become useful, but I feel like this charade is getting old. LTE never lived up to the potential in the US but they pushed into 5G. And 5G isn’t generally reaching LTE+ potential speeds (except for mmWave). Maybe 6G will live up to the promises of LTE+ :)
    The problem isn’t technology, it’s the way spectrum is auctioned off in the US: it only requires deployment/coverage, it doesn’t mandate services quality. And as such TelCos make cells as big as possible to reach the contractually mandated coverage, and then only improve service quality when and where absolutely necessary.
    As a result people are stuck with crowded cells with sub-par performance.

    Other jurisdictions set not only coverage but also service quality standards, as part of the frequency auctions; if telcos don’t meet both, they forfeit spectrum for which they paid a lot of money. That properly incentivizes them to actually live up much better to the promise of a technology.

    Similar issues with road construction: in many jurisdictions a company bidding for building a road has to warrantee it for a certain amount of time, e.g. a decade. If it doesn’t hold up and requires maintenance, the company must provide it free of charge (and likely has to be insured to prevent shell companies from conveniently going out of business after construction is done). At least in many US jurisdictions the company with the lowest bid gets the job, no warranties required. Correspondingly shoddy/cheap is the road construction, with a few years later already having cracks and potholes all over.

    In short: Blame the political process, not technology…
    Blame whomever you want, the result is the same. 5G is useless at this point in time and paying your carrier extra for it is a waste of money in my opinion as you get absolutely no bang for your buck. But that’s how marketing works when the promised wow factor isn’t there yet. And it’s why the Fandroids proudly proclaim they had 5G first. So what?
    edited February 18 watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 17
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,446member
    Of course they are. Apple is going to want some of its IP included in the standard to level the playing field when it comes to licensing.
    mike1watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 17
    lkrupp said:
    georgie01 said:
    Unsurprising, but also surprising. 5G isn’t even of particular significance right now. I keep 5G off on my iPhone 12 Pro to save battery because there is currently no gain from using 5G.

    I know technologies are developed well before they become useful, but I feel like this charade is getting old. LTE never lived up to the potential in the US but they pushed into 5G. And 5G isn’t generally reaching LTE+ potential speeds (except for mmWave). Maybe 6G will live up to the promises of LTE+ :)
    5G has been seriously overhyped to the point of ridiculousness. All of the so-called advanced features of 5G are literally years away from being useful. Right now the ONLY feature of 5G being advertised ad nauseam is its supposed speed but that is being called into question too. The main reason carriers have jumped on the bandwagon is that they get to charge more for 5G service and the public buys into it.

    And again, today, right now, what advantage is 5G to cellphone users? Not tomorrow, not next year, today. Why should I pay extra for 5G service at this point?
    Come live in Finland or Sweden and you’ll see 5G speeds. Cellular in the US is a ripoff. I live in Finland. I pay the equivalent of $25 per month, unlimited everything, no locked in contract or locked phone for the fastest 5G offered. My home internet is 1gig for about $35 a month again unlimited. So for people living elsewhere 5G is living up to its promise. 
    applesnorangeschemengin1StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 17
    Skeptical said:

    Come live in Finland or Sweden and you’ll see 5G speeds. Cellular in the US is a ripoff. I live in Finland. I pay the equivalent of $25 per month, unlimited everything, no locked in contract or locked phone for the fastest 5G offered. My home internet is 1gig for about $35 a month again unlimited. So for people living elsewhere 5G is living up to its promise. 
    YES it is a ripoff in the US - if you don't shop around. I pre-pay $300 for one year of service on my unlocked phone. Service is great. People who don't shop around can pay over $100 per month plus the installment for a carrier locked phone.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 17
    Skeptical said:
    lkrupp said:
    georgie01 said:
    Unsurprising, but also surprising. 5G isn’t even of particular significance right now. I keep 5G off on my iPhone 12 Pro to save battery because there is currently no gain from using 5G.

    I know technologies are developed well before they become useful, but I feel like this charade is getting old. LTE never lived up to the potential in the US but they pushed into 5G. And 5G isn’t generally reaching LTE+ potential speeds (except for mmWave). Maybe 6G will live up to the promises of LTE+ :)
    5G has been seriously overhyped to the point of ridiculousness. All of the so-called advanced features of 5G are literally years away from being useful. Right now the ONLY feature of 5G being advertised ad nauseam is its supposed speed but that is being called into question too. The main reason carriers have jumped on the bandwagon is that they get to charge more for 5G service and the public buys into it.

    And again, today, right now, what advantage is 5G to cellphone users? Not tomorrow, not next year, today. Why should I pay extra for 5G service at this point?
    Come live in Finland or Sweden and you’ll see 5G speeds. Cellular in the US is a ripoff. I live in Finland. I pay the equivalent of $25 per month, unlimited everything, no locked in contract or locked phone for the fastest 5G offered. My home internet is 1gig for about $35 a month again unlimited. So for people living elsewhere 5G is living up to its promise. 
    It is almost as if Finland has the size and population of a small U.S. state like Alabama instead of 330 million people stretched over 1/3 of a continent or something. I love both apples and oranges but they are not the same.
    llama
  • Reply 10 of 17
    lkrupp said:
    georgie01 said:
    Unsurprising, but also surprising. 5G isn’t even of particular significance right now. I keep 5G off on my iPhone 12 Pro to save battery because there is currently no gain from using 5G.

    I know technologies are developed well before they become useful, but I feel like this charade is getting old. LTE never lived up to the potential in the US but they pushed into 5G. And 5G isn’t generally reaching LTE+ potential speeds (except for mmWave). Maybe 6G will live up to the promises of LTE+ :)
    5G has been seriously overhyped to the point of ridiculousness. All of the so-called advanced features of 5G are literally years away from being useful. Right now the ONLY feature of 5G being advertised ad nauseam is its supposed speed but that is being called into question too. The main reason carriers have jumped on the bandwagon is that they get to charge more for 5G service and the public buys into it.

    And again, today, right now, what advantage is 5G to cellphone users? Not tomorrow, not next year, today. Why should I pay extra for 5G service at this point?
    Yeah AT&T wants me to sign up for a new/different plan...just not interested in doing so. Don't need to surf any faster while waiting sitting in a restaurant or whatever.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 17

    cloudguy said:
    Skeptical said:
    lkrupp said:
    georgie01 said:
    Unsurprising, but also surprising. 5G isn’t even of particular significance right now. I keep 5G off on my iPhone 12 Pro to save battery because there is currently no gain from using 5G.

    I know technologies are developed well before they become useful, but I feel like this charade is getting old. LTE never lived up to the potential in the US but they pushed into 5G. And 5G isn’t generally reaching LTE+ potential speeds (except for mmWave). Maybe 6G will live up to the promises of LTE+ :)
    5G has been seriously overhyped to the point of ridiculousness. All of the so-called advanced features of 5G are literally years away from being useful. Right now the ONLY feature of 5G being advertised ad nauseam is its supposed speed but that is being called into question too. The main reason carriers have jumped on the bandwagon is that they get to charge more for 5G service and the public buys into it.

    And again, today, right now, what advantage is 5G to cellphone users? Not tomorrow, not next year, today. Why should I pay extra for 5G service at this point?
    Come live in Finland or Sweden and you’ll see 5G speeds. Cellular in the US is a ripoff. I live in Finland. I pay the equivalent of $25 per month, unlimited everything, no locked in contract or locked phone for the fastest 5G offered. My home internet is 1gig for about $35 a month again unlimited. So for people living elsewhere 5G is living up to its promise. 
    It is almost as if Finland has the size and population of a small U.S. state like Alabama instead of 330 million people stretched over 1/3 of a continent or something. I love both apples and oranges but they are not the same.
    Other countries report similar conditions tho. What he described in Finland is similar for Sweden. Somehow these nation-states are able to deliver better internet infrastructure value than US states. I for one don't think US carriers are operating under the "delight the customer" paradigm. Our service is poor and the cost high...making it a poor value. Not impressive for the land of big tech, right?!
    edited February 18 muthuk_vanalingamRayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 17
    Other countries report similar conditions tho. What he described in Finland is similar for Sweden. Somehow these nation-states are able to deliver better internet infrastructure value than US states. I for one don't think US carriers are operating under the "delight the customer" paradigm. Our service is poor and the cost high...making it a poor value. Not impressive for the land of big tech, right?!
    Yes, other small countries like Finland, Sweden, Denmark, France, Italy etc. Nothing like serving a far larger population over a much bigger and diverse terrain. Don't get me wrong, I am not being a flag-waving nationalist (this time). Even if I would have had those inclinations in times past, cable and telephone companies teaming up with local governments to block Google Fiber back in the day would have ended it.

    Yes, we do need a national top-down strategy for mobile, broadband and - based on what is going on in Texas - electricity. However the Republicans simply repeat "free market" nonsense not caring that it was the interstate highway program plus Cold War era DOE/DOD/NASA spending that heavily contributed to our free market economy. Democrats for their part only care about social issues, so infrastructure is low on the list that they are willing to spend capital on, unless it uses infrastructure/economic plans as a ruse for social ones such as the Green New Deal: purports to be an infrastructure plan when its real goal is to reorganize our economic and regulatory state around social justice. Even nationalizing the industry wholesale wouldn't solve all the problems. It would make some things better: the cell towers that are right now shared between 3 companies could be merged with excess or incompatible equipment being repurposed for other things, and yes the service would be cheaper. But there would still be real problems to prevent achieving Finnish network speeds and costs. 
    llama
  • Reply 13 of 17
    lkrupp said:
    georgie01 said:
    Unsurprising, but also surprising. 5G isn’t even of particular significance right now. I keep 5G off on my iPhone 12 Pro to save battery because there is currently no gain from using 5G.

    I know technologies are developed well before they become useful, but I feel like this charade is getting old. LTE never lived up to the potential in the US but they pushed into 5G. And 5G isn’t generally reaching LTE+ potential speeds (except for mmWave). Maybe 6G will live up to the promises of LTE+ :)
    5G has been seriously overhyped to the point of ridiculousness. All of the so-called advanced features of 5G are literally years away from being useful. Right now the ONLY feature of 5G being advertised ad nauseam is its supposed speed but that is being called into question too. The main reason carriers have jumped on the bandwagon is that they get to charge more for 5G service and the public buys into it.

    And again, today, right now, what advantage is 5G to cellphone users? Not tomorrow, not next year, today. Why should I pay extra for 5G service at this point?
    T-Mobile doesn’t charge extra for 5G. Right now the benefit to the carriers is that they can fit more users per cell tower for the same performance as LTE. Where I live in Boston area Metro-West all the 5G coverage on T-Mobile that I’ve seen is approximately the same speed as LTE. So the benefit to the carrier is lower costs with not much benefit going to the customer. 


    Having said that, it is still early in the 5G rollout. With the old Sprint mid-band being repurposed for 5G, it is possible that things get better soon. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 17
    croprcropr Posts: 1,051member
    mjtomlin said:
    Of course they are. Apple is going to want some of its IP included in the standard to level the playing field when it comes to licensing.

    That will be tough.   The big chunk of IP of 5G (and supposedly also of 6G) is on the network infrastructure level.  The network infrastructure standards are typically discussed between the telecom operators (T-Mobile, France Telecom, Telefonica...) and telecom equipment vendors (Nokia, Ericsson, Huawei, ...). 

    As Apple does not produce or sell telecom equipment, I fail to see how it can influence the 6G standard and the related IP.   That does not mean that Apple can prepare itself to develop its own 6G end user chips, but it will have to follow the standards defined by others, made available on FRAND terms
  • Reply 15 of 17
    cropr said:
    mjtomlin said:
    Of course they are. Apple is going to want some of its IP included in the standard to level the playing field when it comes to licensing.

    That will be tough.   The big chunk of IP of 5G (and supposedly also of 6G) is on the network infrastructure level.  The network infrastructure standards are typically discussed between the telecom operators (T-Mobile, France Telecom, Telefonica...) and telecom equipment vendors (Nokia, Ericsson, Huawei, ...). 

    As Apple does not produce or sell telecom equipment, I fail to see how it can influence the 6G standard and the related IP.   That does not mean that Apple can prepare itself to develop its own 6G end user chips, but it will have to follow the standards defined by others, made available on FRAND terms
    Not tough at all. 

    https://www.cnet.com/news/samsung-lays-out-its-plans-for-6g-yes-6g/

    While Samsung does make networking equipment, is involved in networking infrastructure and badly wants more market share and influence in that sector, they aren't Huawei, Ericsson or Nokia.

    Instead, Samsung and Apple probably have similar goals: to influence the design in a way that benefits them. Right now Qualcomm - for example - is in a good place because 3G, 4G and 5G is based on the 2G and earlier work that Qualcomm (and the companies that they acquired) put in. If Apple, Samsung and others are able to convince the standards boards to scrap those in favor of standards that can be achieved with IP that is or can be open sourced - for example - that would allow anyone and everyone to make their own 6G radios, edge transmitters and relay stations with their own tech without having to pay license fees or deal with industry gatekeepers. Would you buy an Apple-branded 6G edge relay station? Of course you would especially if Apple told you that it was a HomePod, Apple TV or something else!

    All right for something that paints Apple in a slightly better light: suppose Apple decides to extend AR into full-blown holograms and the implementation requires a 6G edge device for bandwidth and processing purposes. Not having to license the tech to do so from Qualcomm, Nvidia and whoever else to build the "FaceTime with AppleGram" would be convenient, right?

    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 16 of 17
    croprcropr Posts: 1,051member
    cloudguy said:
    Would you buy an Apple-branded 6G edge relay station? Of course you would especially if Apple told you that it was a HomePod, Apple TV or something else!



    Of course not.  What a silly question.  An edge relay station is not a consumer product so  Apple is not interested to put its name on it and the telecom operator would definitely not want to pay for extra cost of the Apple marketing.
  • Reply 17 of 17
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,907member
    The title is somewhat misleading as 6G development has been underway for a while now. Apple is simply jump-starting its own 6G development.

    Strategically, it failed to comprehend both the timing and importance of 5G. In part, this is logical as Apple is a CE company and lacks the knowhow required to develop communications technology. 

    It is now attempting to hire in talent in an attempt to prevent itself from falling down the same hole with 6G. Lessons have been learned and that is good even though 6G is a decade away. 

    What is unlikely is that Apple can get up to speed as a ICT player and compete with the companies that already dominate the field. It would take an army of scientists and engineers to do that, not just a few hires. 

    That said, the US, and in desperation, has flayed around like a headless chicken ever since it realised how far behind it was in 5G. As part of that chaos, the Trump administration proposed 'going it alone' and producing its very own 5G flavour which would have been incompatible with 5G worldwide. It didn't take long for that plan to get scuppered but one thing became clear, the US had scant regard for anyone or anything when its own interests were at stake. Going it alone and then trying to force its home grown solution on the rest of the world may well be part of someone's plan at the White House and then Apple would become a more important part of that particular plan. Trump even thought Apple could save some US 5G bacon at one point before being reminded that it was literally impossible.

    I definitely think Apple should be moving towards some kind of 6G development participation from a strategic viewpoint but I can't see them as being more than a peripheral player unless it snapped up entire companies instead of hires. 
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